Norfolk Premium Outlets is about ready to open up and is located across the Virginia Beach border.Shoppers love deals, and that’s part of what’s helping outlet malls thrive in today’s day and age. Once a bastion of discounted merchandise, these centers are evolving to include more first-run merchandise, as well as additional dining options that will help shoppers stick around a little longer. Simon Premium Outlets has the formula down pretty well, and it will be applying it to its newest one that’s slated to open later this month.
As the Virginia Gazette reports, Norfolk Premium Outlets is about ready to open up, and it serves as a sister property to the thriving Williamsburg Premium Outlets, which is located across the Virginia Beach border. When Simon first announced the project, there were concerns raised about having two outlet malls relatively close to one another, but Simon vice president of development Scott Richardson notes that the company isn’t concerned about that at all.
“Really, this is a different animal than Williamsburg, because this is our current prototype, for lack of a better term. Williamsburg is an excellent place to shop, but it doesn’t have the sense of place that we have here,” he said. “The differential for us here are the many communal spaces that have been developed as part of the property.”
The new outlet mall features a sophisticated contemporary design in a village-like setting, and it’s slated to have 57 retailers packed into the property’s 323,000 square feet by the end of the year.
“(There was) no hesitancy whatsoever,” Richardson continued. “Yes, there will be some overlap, but there will be some more unique retailers that are here (in Norfolk) that are not at Williamsburg.”
By comparison, the Williamsburg location spans 350,000 square feet, and it has 150 stores on the tenant roster.
“Even though Williamsburg is perceived as being close, in this type of a market, with all of the waterways and everything, water tends to segment the market,” said Richardson, “and we truly believe that this being a more central opportunity will bring more people that might not want to take the time to go to Williamsburg.
Speaking of the waterways, that’s part of what makes this area of Virginia such a thriving market. It boasts a wealth of year-round residents, and it’s also home to one of the East Coast’s most popular vacation destinations, Virginia Beach. There’s plenty of room to support complementary outlet centers, and it sounds like the Norfolk Premium Outlets will hit the ground running- just in time for the summer vacation season.