Retail Outlets Are On The Outs

by MR Magazine Staff

What happens to a cash cow after it stops delivering money? Factory outlets that have been a boon to retailers in recent years, for example, are starting to slow down, and it’s hurting chains that had become overly dependent on them.As brick-and-mortar traffic slowed and online sales rose, outlets were a salve for many chains, giving them access to cheaper real estate and a stream of customers looking for bargains on Kate Spade handbags and the like. A relatively weak dollar, lower sales taxes and low prices helped make U.S. outlet malls tourist destinations, spawning a mega-industry of shopping excursions from China and other countries. About 25 percent of outlet centers are in or near major tourist destinations, estimates Garrick Brown, head of retail research at real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. Read more at Bloomberg.