Value Retail News: November, 2009

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Value Retail News

November 2009


State of the Outlet Industry
VRN’s latest U.S. Outlet Center and Owners Report shows that in the last 18 months, outlet GLA grew by 1.5 million sf, to 58.5 million from 57 million. Outlet center sales have remained stable, with Prime Retail actually posting a 4 percent increase in all sales for 2008 over 2007.


Prepping for Midnight Madness
Most outlet developers say the Thanksgiving night event is crucial to 4th quarter success, and they are gearing up for a better-than-ever Midnight Madness 2009. Asked about their expectations for the coming holiday season, outlet industry executives’ remarks ranged from cautious optimism to confident predictions of higher sales.

Consumer Snapshots
The wealthy are finding their spending groove again and young upwardly mobile professionals apparently never lost theirs; at the same time, coupon use is on the increase and drug store sales are improving; manufacturers who play around with cheaper or more expensive products in their lines are confusing customers out of buying anything, and the sale of men’s underwear is said to hold the secret to the economic recovery.

Chains Focus On E-Commerce
A multi-channel marketing approach that draws on traditional and online channels is critical but a web presence, email campaigns and mobile marketing are must-haves for staying competitive. Most importantly sales, transactions and traffic stand a better chance of increasing when the tenants are part of the equation.

Facebooking Customer Service
Writing about a personal experience, guest columnist Rob Walker says that prior to the advent of social media, most customer service issues were handled privately. When a post is made to a social media site, everyone can view the message. This transparency causes the retailer to react in a timely manner.