Présentation – Lisa Wagner


Consider the United States as one big retail laboratory. What happens in the American retail landscape often informs what will translate to international markets. Therefore, an examination of the evolution of the outlet industry within the US may hold keys to what we can expect throughout the world.

This presentation will cover the history of the outlet industry within the US in its relatively short lifespan of the last twenty five years, the maturation of the industry there, and the dramatic changes and trends that are overtaking the industry and propelling the outlet industry to unparalleled heights.

From solving a problem to creating an opportunity channel

  • the original purpose of outlets to clear excess stock and implications for site location, operations and marketing
  • growth of outlet stores into a distinct profit center for brands
  • companion uses to outlets in the US – leisure and food
  • maturation of store design and merchandising
  • Made for Outlet

Center location strategy and design over time

  • retail and wholesale sensitivity have waned
  • proximity to population centers
  • enduring strength of tourism-oriented centres
  • the evolution of centre design and finishes
  • a sample of the new generation of outlet centres in the US

Latest trends in the outlet industry in the US

  • more luxury brands entering the industry
  • higher finishes and more blurring of the lines with traditional retail
  • sophisticated marketing tools and customer retention strategies
  • implications for international outlet development and expansion

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