AUDIO – ‘Off to the Outlets’ — A new real estate mantra

June 23, 2009

When it comes to shopping for bargains these days, retailers are expanding their window of possibilities the same way as increasingly price-conscious consumers.

While the concept of outlet malls and shopping centers was once considered a last-ditch way to unload excess inventory, Steven Tanger, chief executive at Tanger Outlet Centers, says the model is changing…and fast!

Tanger, speaking at the Reuters Real Estate Summit on Tuesday, said that many retailers who had previously shunned the outlet concept are starting to look at the option as more than just something for “the other guy.”

Mr. Tanger also gave us an update on how business conditions are looking overall — including how much the recent spate of lousy weather in New York is weighing on shoppers’ moods (it hasn’t helped our moods that much either, quite honestly!).

But Mr. Tanger was a bit more sunny than the New York weather has been — at least about his own space in the retail world. He sees companies and store concepts including Limited Brands, Victoria’s Secret and Restoration Hardware all expanding their businesses into outlets.

He even sees an outlet market for plastic shoes — as Crocs has entered the space.

Tanger, with outlets spread throughout the United States, sees this expansion as a plus for his business and a definite avenue for future growth. While Tanger is a very East Coast-centric concept right now, the map of the United States has a lot of room for growth for the company and Tanger said he and his team are looking for opportunities to expand right away.

Tanger was one of the featured speakers at this year’s annual real estate summit. This year the summit is a global effort with guests in cities including New York, London, Shanghai, Sydney and Moscow. The summit runs through this week.

For an audio sampling of Tanger’s comments, please click on the link below:

Steven Tanger, CEO Tanger Outlet Centers

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