dollar stores in abundance. The outlets, once a bargain hunter’s milieu, have become
mainstream shopping centers, says Dean Rubin, CEO of Rose Displays, a retail signware
“It’s reaching a different demographic,” says Ron Singler, SVP of retail at Callison-
RTKL. “To a certain extent, it’s become an extension of the brand.” Most customers
know there’s a trade-off in shopping outlets, he adds.
But helping the consumer save a buck doesn’t mean skimping on experience.
Brands should make outlet visits satisfying and rewarding for shoppers,
yet make a distinction, says Robyn Novak, VP and creative managing
director at FRCH. She believes the outlet should be a teaser or a taste
that drives consumers to the flagship.
Rebecca Huston, principal and strategy director of retail design firm
Huen, agrees. Her suggestions:
• Brand product lines for outlets under a different or related name.
• Partner with other brands, especially companies with narrow lines.
• Make the in-store experience fun and entertaining.
She cites the weekend stylist at Topshop in the U.K. “You can get your
“You still want great operating standards, fitting rooms that respect the
hair and nails done. They understand that an inexpensive product can go
along with a premium experience.”
JGA’s Nisch advises against trying to make an outlet look like the full-
price store, which would confuse the consumer.
customer, and an orderly floor,” he explains. “But this is a different experi-
ence being delivered in a different way for a different purpose. If you don’t
create some differences, why should people pay full price? It’s a delicate line.”
Given the growing consumer demand, outlet designers are creating more
upscale, compelling connections. These sophisticated solutions focus on
efficiency and flexibility.
Durable materials are needed to accommodate more foot traffic. Story
telling must be simplified, as most merchandising is done by inhouse staff.
And greenbuilding strategies, such as energyefficient lighting, should be
incorporated, Singler says.
365: THE BUDGET SIDE
OF WHOLE FOODS
Lower-price alter egos aren’t solely the
domain of apparel and electronics retailers
and the like. The grocery segment is seeing
a similar movement from Whole Foods
Market. The chain’s new 365 by Whole
Foods Market will offer low-price natural
and organic products. The first store will
open this year
in Los Angeles,
with two more to
follow in 2016 and
up to 10 the next
year. President Jeff
Turnas promises a
modern, streamlined design with
innovative technology and a carefully
curated product mix. “We are not looking
at a dumbed-down version of Whole Foods
because we’re never going to sacrifice our
quality standards,” he says.
Today’s outlet centers
welcome both retail
chains and consumer
Teva made its foray
into retail with this
store in Orlando