U.S. outlet landlords, retailers launch annual festival
In order to promote U. S. outlet shopping, trade groups The Outlet Marketing Alliance and Shop America Alliance will launch the inaugural USA Outlet Shopping Festival this Memorial Day weekend. The nationwide event, which will include special deals and promotions to drum up publicity and traffic at factory outlet centers, will run Friday through Monday, May 24-27. The organizers are planning to develop the festival into an annual event showcasing outlet centers and top name-brand outlet retailers.
During the festival, domestic and international shoppers and travelers worldwide will be invited to visit outlet centers and shop outlet retailers to enjoy special savings and promotions. Outlet retailers and landlords are invited to participate in and co-market the festival by developing and promoting their own sales and special events under the Festival umbrella marketing campaign provided by The Outlet Marketing Alliance.
Meanwhile organizers are working to develop tie-ins with travel sponsors including hotels, airlines, rental car companies, tour operators, bus companies and media to help promote the festival. For example, shoppers spending $150 or more on their MasterCard during the festival will receive a MasterCard tote bag at participating locations, along with special discount offers. State and local tourism offices including California and Las Vegas have already agreed to provide marketing support. International Tax Free shopping programs in locations such as Texas and Louisiana will be promoted, along with tax-free shopping for all shoppers on clothing in locations including Minnesota, Oregon and Pennsylvania. Special Outlet Festival packages with major tour operators are also in the works.
“This festival will serve to underscore the popularity of outlet shopping and the importance of tourism to all our partners,” said Lisa Wagner, founder of the Outlet Marketing Alliance, a group of outlet industry retailers and developers, in a press release.
Companies sponsoring, planning and participating in the USA Outlet Shopping Festival include: AWE Talisman, Craig Realty Group, Destiny USA, EWB Development, Horizon Group Properties, MasterCard, OutletBound.com, The Outlet Shops of Grand River, Puma, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Shop California, TaxFree Shopping Texas and Tommy Hilfiger. For further details on participating, go to www.outletfestival.com.
Compiled by the staff of Shopping Centers Today. © March 21, 2013 International Council of Shopping Centers.