EXPERTS TALK OUTLETS IN CHICAGO
Outlets continue to be a major force in the evolving world of retail, according to Karen Fluharty of Strategy + Style Marketing and Lee Ra Johnson of Macerich.
The two spoke at the session “The Future of Outlets: Traditional, Mixed-Use, Value and Beyond,” at last month’s combined Chicago Deal Making & VRN Outlet Convention.
Numerous factors are contributing to the ongoing success of outlet centers, according to Fluharty and Johnson. Outlets are being built closer to city centers; outlets provide value at a time when consumers are extremely price conscious; and they present a unique shopping experience.
“The combination of treasure hunting and value keeps customers coming back over and over,” Fluharty said. “You’re never going to have that experience online.”
Pure outlets are increasingly becoming a rarity, Fluharty added, citing examples of mixed-use projects. “Outlets no longer live in the vacuum that we thought they did.”