Plans For Columbus Designer Outlet Mall Mean Economy On The Mend

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Tanger Outlets and Simon Property Group plan to build a 350,000 square foot shopping outlet along interstate 71 north of Columbus(Photo: tanger)
Tanger Outlets and Simon Property Group plan to build a 350,000 square foot shopping outlet along interstate 71 north of Columbus(Photo: tanger)

News that Columbus will soon be home to an up-scale outlet mall may be another sign that the economy is recovering. As WOSU’s Sam Hendren reports, Tanger Outlet Malls plans to open a mall with designer and name brand retailers before the 2014 holiday shopping season.

The Columbus Tanger Outlet will feature 90 stores totaling 350,000 square feet. Could this massive project be another positive economic sign? Yes, says Shashi Matta, a professor at Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. Matta says the latest consumer confidence index is at a four-year high. And, Matta says, the local economy is the strongest in the state, making this new mall a prime destination.

“This region of Central Ohio is probably indicative of the strongest economy in Ohio so I think the location is probably perfect,” Matta.

Not long ago, Tanger bought the thriving Prime Outlet Mall near Jeffersonville, halfway between Columbus and Cincinnati. So why build another outlet less than an hour away? Matta says Tanger is following a successful marketing strategy – one that it’s used in other parts of the country.

“The one that is south of Columbus in Jeffersonville, that outlet mall services not only consumers not only from Columbus but also from Cincinnati and Dayton,” Matta says. “So they do have outlet malls about 30 to 40 miles away from each other.”

Matta says he expects Tanger’s upscale offerings will be a magnet for customers.

“It’s the best of both worlds. It is having designer boutique brands at value prices. So you can have a Ralph Lauren Polo Jacket or a Brooks Brothers suit at a price that you would not normally get for these brands,” Matta says.

Company president Steven Tanger says the new factory outlet mall will be a “must visit value destination.”

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