Located seven hours drive away from Ottawa Canada and approximately an hour drive away from North of New York city, Woodbury Common Outlets in Central Valley, N.Y. offers variety of products and the Outlet is one of the largest shopping complex in the country with 13 million visits annually.
According to Ms. Suleiman from Ottawa community has this to say, “I come here every year because nothing supersedes to Woodbury Common outlets.” The products available here range from $10 Tommy Bahama shorts to $5,000 suede suits.
On a faithful weekday afternoon, there was no parking space to accommodate the outburst of visitors. People who brought their car as well as well as those who boarded the city bus were on the blacktop looking for a space while the heard the commencement of the day’s sale in different languages, including Spanish and Mandarin. There was uproar of families pushing baby carriages and those consulting their map trying to get in before the item they came for is out of stock.
“This is the country’s oldest outlet built in 1985; it is the first time it was completely overhauled,” explained the senior VP in Simon Property Group, Danielle DeVita. “It indeed was the time.”
The renovation of the outlet that cost $170 million is to begin next month and finished in 2016 with the purpose of expanding the center by 60,000 Sq. Ft to make it a total of 900,000 Sq. ft. The expansion is said to have a welcome center, make available 20 more stores and accommodate about 20% more cars coming into the center.
With the expansion, there will be about 400 fresh jobs as well as 500 construction jobs. This business is growing at a faster rate than the clothing market with a 14% increase than the previous sales according to the market research firm, NPD Group.
A large portion of the country’s business is done in this outlet with over $1.3 billion annual sales. “An excellent shopping center does about $700 a square foot; this is indeed a high figure,” stated one of the Senior MD at Newmark Frank Retail, Marc Frankel.
“Customers come from the nook and cranny of the country to fill their luggage with our product,” stated Ms. DeVita. “You experience the same on a Tuesday in February.”
The outlet business has experienced an enormous change in the last 15 years. According to Marchal Cohen, an industry analyst “This was a clearing house, a center where buyers could get extras that at no time sold.” He continued, “Today, above 86% of goods sold is made especially for the consumers. They are getting a set of standards higher than is being used by affordable brands.”
Shoppers who visit this outlet most times get confused with the layout and snarled traffic. “People get stuck in their car for 3-4 hours to gain access into the center,” Mr. Frankel Said. “It was not designed for such crowds. No one would love to live in that region.”
Woodbury Common Outlet has been through three expansions in 1993, 1994 and also 1998. During this expansion, a new boulevard will be built which will lead to the center and also the construction of an entrance plaza. The main tower building will be demolished. Alternatively, a new Market Hall with the architectural tower like that of the colonial style will be built with a food court for 850 shoppers.
A boulevard named Madison Avenue will be constructed to replace the old food court building to connect shopping areas together. The districts, center’s shopping areas, are as well being redesigned. They will also be renamed and also redesigned to reflect their name.
Simon plans to add 20 more stores in empty spaces. “We are not building on grasses but are tactically placing the stores in any possible areas,” Ms. DeVita said. “The concept is to orient the people with a visual aid for better shopping experience.”
The roads are also being redesigned for smooth flow of traffic. The reconstruction includes readjusting the perimeter road as well as the redevelopment of the inner roadway. Available parking spaces will be transformed to a four-level garage. New landscaping and seating areas will also be constructed.
Simon has put in a lot of energy into the restructure of the center due to its importance in the overall portfolio of the company. “You can bet that any brand without an outlet is looking to open one,” stated Michele Rothstein, a senior VP in Simon Marketing department. “In the event that a luxury brand wants an outlet, they desire to be at Woodbury Common Outlets.”