Simon Property Group, the largest retail property owner and shopping mall operator in the U.S. market, comes to e-commerce.
Together with Rue Gilt Groupe, the owner of online shopping sites Gilt and Rue La La, the company launches a new platform for the sale of clothing and shoes with permanent discounts.
Since spring 2019, Simon has been testing ShopPremiumOutlets.com, built on its own premium outlet business. The company operates dozens of outlet centers in the U.S. and international markets. Simon has worked with certain retailers represented in its facilities, including Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in New York, to test the possibility of selling products on the site.
To date, agreements have been signed for the sale of more than 2,000 brands on ShopPremiumOutlets.com, which provide about 300,000,000 products. Among the brands invited to the new project are Saks Off Fifth, Aeropostale, G.H. Bass & Co. Factory Outlet, Cole Haan, Nautica, and Under Armour.
The company says that when creating an online platform, they studied the feedback from customers, who often visit outlet sites in search of more brand diversity as part of a single online purchase. Simon does not expect that the creation of an online platform will hurt the company's core outlet business.
After the launch of ShopPremiumOutlets.com will go under the control of the Rue Gilt Groupe team. In Simon, it is planned to invest $280 million in new business. In 2020 the project will be developed with the use of a part of the annual marketing budget of Simon, which exceeds $100 million.
As part of the deal, which must be approved by the U.S. regulatory authorities, Simon Property Group and U.S. billionaire Michael Rubin, chairman of the board of Rue Gilt Groupe, will become equal partners in ShopPremiumOutlets.com and Gilt Groupe.
Simon also plans to launch a service to provide information about the availability of goods in the company's outlets on its website. In the future, Simon is also considering the possibility of launching a similar online project, which will combine the traditional shopping malls in the company's portfolio.