In some instances, once-remote
areas have become bustling due
in part to an outlet center’s draw.
Take Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise,
Fla., for instance. Hotels and a
concert/sports arena are among
the amenities and attractions now
surrounding the massive mall.
In other cases, full-price and
outlet venues commingle. For
example, Destiny USA in Syracuse, N.Y., expanded to include
outlets under the same roof as
full-price stores, Ferris adds.
The mentality has changed.
Outlet is no longer the end of the
line, but rather a destination, says Sarah Holstedt, a senior associate specializing in retail
center design at CallisonRTKL.
Whether you consider them outlet or off-price stores, retail chains are increasingly add-
ing lower-priced counterpart stores. Witness Macy’s plans for some 50 new Backstage
stores by 2018, HBC’s plans for up to 25 new Saks OFF 5TH stores across Canada by
2018, and Nordstrom’s plans for 120 or so more Nordstrom Rack stores by 2020, accord-
ing to news reports.
And those stores are sometimes being situated near complementary full-line brands.
“We see outlet brands in closer proximity to their full-line counterparts, particularly in
urban areas where a wide variety of customers are readily available,” Holstedt says.
Ken Nisch, chairman of retail design firm JGA, agrees, saying “Today, a Nordstrom
Rack could be found in an outlet center, in a lifestyle center, or down the block from the
Indeed, this year, Macy’s will even test the inclusion of Backstage shop-in-shops within
The proliferation of made-for-outlet goods has blurred the line between promotional/
sale pricing in full-line stores, outlets, and the fast-growing off-price segment, Nisch says.
Experts estimate that this inventory comprises 70% to 80% of the offerings within the
Brands, particularly recognizable names and luxury labels, are
the stars of this show. “Outlets are being developed—and increas-
ingly redeveloped and expanded—at a more aggressive pace than
full-price malls,” Nisch says. “While more measured and strategic
than it was years ago, the involvement of major traditional shopping
center developers such as Simon and Taubman is bringing the outlet
centers closer to full-price centers in brand mix, location, and cus-
Developers look for key tenants. For the typical outlet mall with
100 tenants, 20 brands—including Nike, Under Armour, and
Burberry—drive the show, FRCH’s Harkin adds.
Targeting budget-conscious crowds, retailers who once avoided
outlets now embrace them to appeal to “haves” who will continue
to shop at high-end boutiques and to “have-nots” who have accepted
TOP and LEF T:
inside and outside
at centers like
Premium Outlets in
Central Valley, N. Y.,
which was recently
design by FRCH.
BOT TOM: Graphics
by Great Big Pictures,
a “halo” treatment on
the ceiling by KMDI, and
id X fixtures contribute
to the stylish ambiance
of this Guess Factory
Accessories store in
The Outlet Collection
in Elizabeth, N. J.