Lord & Taylor executives announced on Thursday that the department store chain is set to open its first and biggest 15,000 square-foot outlet store in mid-February at the Jersey Gardens outlet center in Elizabeth, New Jersey, about 18 miles west of Manhattan.
This outlet center will be one of the few spots in the depressing retail landscape. Macy's might be the next department store to joining the outlet arena. Neiman Marcus Inc. and Saks Inc. are even becoming more aggressive with outlets. This month, Burt Tansky, Neiman Marcus’ chairman and CEO, acknowledged that the company’s Last Call outlets were outperforming the regular stores, and that the fleet of 28 units is likely to grow.
There is an art to designing an outlet store. If the prices are too close to the full-priced store, it could ruin the need for both stores. Retailers must also be concerned that the outlets don't cheapen the stature of the brand, i.e. turn a Nordstrom into a Wal-Mart.
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