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Outdoor shopping venues take the lead



U.S. real estate owner Tanger Factory says all of its owned malls are back to pre-pandemic levels.
Factory Outlet - Depositphotos

As traditional malls continue to struggle with the pandemic, outdoor malls are making significant strides towards strengthening their position and showing excellent resilience to modern commerce's challenges. Tanger Factory, one of the largest outlet chains in North America with 37 locations in the U.S. and Canada, has announced that all of its owned outlet locations have returned to pre-pandemic levels. According to the company, its outlet stores reached 90% occupancy back in the fourth quarter of last year and 99% in January of this year.

During a call with investors, Tanger Factory Executive Chairman Steven Tanger said Tanger Factory malls had achieved such numbers because of their open-air design. According to many consumers, open-air areas promote safer shopping and make it easier to adhere to traditional enclosed malls' social distance rules.

The company has also made significant progress in collecting rent from tenants, reporting that it contained 95 percent of the rent due in January. Because of the high number of small merchants' bankruptcies, Tangier expects some difficulties in the coming months.

It's not just the architecture but also the good deals that await shoppers in Tanger Factory outlet stores. Amid falling wages and massive layoffs, many consumers are no longer so easily parting with their money. They prefer to save, looking for all sorts of discounts and promotions.

"Retail is expected to see an increase in open-air concepts"


In 2020, Tanger Factory was also active in the e-commerce sector, offering online shopping and self-checkout services. These investments are already starting to pay for themselves. Still, the company is well aware that the malls' primary revenue will always depend solely on foot traffic. And for this reason, work in the online direction may be suspended. But more attention will be paid to the creation of well-known brands like Tory Burch, Lululemon, Victoria's Secret, and Hugo Boss.

Many analysts are confident that the retail industry is expected to increase the number of open-air concepts. Some are even confident that their numbers will grow exponentially. After all, consumers want to make online purchases and visit physical stores, doing it in the safest way possible.

 It should be noted that Tanger Factory is not the only company whose outlet stores are performing well. A similar statement was also made by Simon Property Group, which owns a network of international premium outlet stores in addition to traditional shopping centers.

Photo credit: depositphotos.com.

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