Center Re-Imagination Starts with a Strategic Point of View
Vero Beach Outlets Continues to Strengthen its Home Furnishings Niche Adding First-in-Industry Concept
By Karen E. Fluharty, Strategy+Style Marketing Group Founding Partner & Chief Strategist
VALUE RETAIL NEWS DECEMBER 2018
Design Within Reach Outlet is coming to Vero Beach Outlets.
And, its over 25,000 square foot location marks the first time the highly-regarded and stylish brand, known as the largest retailer of authentic modern furniture and accessories in the world, will operate within a traditional outlet shopping center environment.
The Home Furnishings Niche
In recent years, Vero Beach Outlets has been undergoing a successful transformation, working to re-imagine its offering by deliberately carving out a novel niche – a niche carefully crafted to satisfy unrealized retail needs of its distinct marketplace. In fact, effectively responding to its core market’s unique demographic characteristics has proven a key element in Vero Beach Outlets’ overall remerchandising formula strategically aimed at building its home furnishings category. The Simpson Organization, Vero Beach Outlets’ owners since spring of 2017, has not only embraced the leasing approach, but is achieving its overarching goal to successfully reinvent the Treasure Coast-based shopping destination.
In recent years Vero Beach Outlets’ home furnishings category has experienced significant growth. Home of the largest Restoration Hardware Outlet south of Atlanta following an impressive store expansion from just 15,905 to 31,492 square feet in 2016, Vero Beach Outlets recently welcomed Williams-Sonoma Home Outlet (4,554 square feet) which joined Williams-Sonoma Outlet (8,260 square feet) at the property.
Now, with the highly-anticipated debut of Design Within Reach Outlet slated for an early 2019 grand opening, Vero Beach Outlets cements its position as a go-to center for home furnishings. Led by Strategy+Style Marketing Group, the center’s marketing activity will see it reach a highly-targeted consumer using digital advertising technology that focuses on behavioral criteria (such as new home owners and interior design professionals) and expand its messaging throughout key Florida markets.
Design Within Reach Outlet
According to Peter Edelmann, Partner at EB Development which leads leasing activity, Vero Beach Outlets is ideally situated to serve the highly-affluent Treasure Coast region, and beyond, where an increasing number of high net worth individuals are flocking to reside. In fact, the area is comprised of the fourth largest concentration of wealthy households in the United States, 15 percent of them millionaires originally hailing from the northeast.
In addition, the center, which serves a permanent population of approximately 2.4 million, also caters to a year-round influx of more than three million visitors rich in second home owners and retired winter snowbirds. The Vero Beach Outlets demographic peaks the interest of leading home furnishings and accessories brands exploring new market opportunities as part of comprehensive retail real estate decision making processes.
In securing Design Within Reach Outlet, EB Development successfully converted a more than 25,000 square foot VF Outlet and negotiated to open one of two new VF Wrangler concepts in 5,000 square feet.
Historically, outlet centers have successfully differentiated themselves from competing retail venue types, such as full-price malls and power centers, by creating a true destination. This experience, alone, would attract shoppers to visit from a radius of over 90 miles – a hallmark that has long been a fundamental premise closely held by the outlet retail industry.
Vero Beach Outlets, with its first-in-industry addition of Design Within Reach Outlet however, is capitalizing on strategic transformation activity intended to 1) attract a new South Florida region customer; 2) exponentially expand its catchment area; 3) add a significant food and beverage component and; 4) embark upon a number of capital improvement projects designed to enhance the overall shopping experience. Now, the center not only provides a destination, but the ability to shop at a growing collection of stores that offer consumers the opportunity to create their own sense of home.
As asset management teams, comprised of ownership entities, leasing organizations and marketing partners, continue to navigate today’s challenging retail industry landscape, hard at work launching re-imagination efforts with the goal of attracting new and novel retail concepts, the often overlooked art of effectively responding to market nuances must be considered an essential factor incorporated into today’s comprehensive retail real estate re-imagination equation.
Vero Beach Outlets and the growth of its home furnishings category is a stellar example.