OUTLET CENTERS HUNGRY FOR MORE FOOD

By: Brannon Boswell

Food is the hottest trend at outlet centers, experts said at the ICSC New York Deal Making Tuesday. “Food is the new fashion,” said Karen Fluharty, founding partner and chief strategist at Strategy & Style Marketing Group.

(Karen Fluharty founding partner and chief strategist at Strategy & Style Marketing Group)

(Karen Fluharty founding partner and chief strategist at Strategy & Style Marketing Group)

As more outlet centers move closer to major metro areas, big-name restaurants are getting easier to secure, she said. “It’s easier to pitch food tenants.”

Horizon Group Properties has even gone into the food business itself. The company owns four Johnny Rockets franchises at its properties. “It’s challenging,” said Gary Skoien, the firm’s chairman, president and CEO. “But we believe it keeps people at centers. It also makes a difference in driving frequency.”

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