We’ve discussed how outlet malls are experiencing a renaissance of sorts, not only due to retailers’ attraction to low operating costs and low rents, but because of a fundamental change in consumer behavior.
Due to this resurgence, outlet malls are evolving to become a distinct and thriving business segment autonomous from traditional malls and are developing distinct strategies around upscale remodels and outlet center locations – mainly developing in major cities and urban centers.
And savvy economic developers are seeking to capitalize on the robust growth happening in this market segment by working with developers who specialize in retail outlets – there are already 11 phase 1 outlet centers planned for 2014.
In fact, one of those outlet centers is opening up in our backyard.
The Outlets at Alliance
While the outlet shopping center planned for north Fort Worth, Texas isn’t scheduled to open until the fall of 2015, developers are already hard at work to take advantage of the many benefits the outlet sector has to offer while it’s still on fire – although it looks like this trend is here to stay.
The Outlets at Alliance, which will be built just north of the number 2 Cabela’s store in the U.S. on I-35W, will include about 50 stores, feature a racetrack design, provide greater lifestyle amenities and eventually be anchored by the Alliance Airport.
A northwestern suburb of Fort Worth, Alliance-Fort Worth is the 10th fastest growing city in the U.S. with more than 2 million people living within this market.
But besides the strong demographics, this market has a distinct identity which draws in more than 5.5 million visitors a year.
Local Economic Benefit
The benefits of having an outlet mall built near a major city are numerous. Developers and retailers can diversify their customer base and attract both local and repeat customers, in addition to tourists.
Having more visitors to the area means more money spent at local businesses and restaurants and ultimately more money going to local governments.
Whether it’s a small, local development in a rural part of the country, or a large regional development in a metropolitan area, economic developers would be wise to consider an outlet mall and/or outlet stores as a strategic component of its long-term economic growth.
If you want to know if an outlet center would provide economic benefits to your community and provide a better quality of life for your citizens, we’re happy to help.