Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Direct factory outrage

Direct factory outlets are a dirty trick: a way for retail property developers to build on cheap industrial land, writes Natalie Craig.

IN SPRAWLING sheds trimmed with foil insulation and fluorescent lights, shopping is an epic adventure. Outlet centres are hunting grounds for that thriving species, the consumer maximus, who will scale mountains of mini-skirts and wade through rivers of size 16 swimmer bottoms in search of discounted prey.

The streets of suburban Melbourne are usually quiet on a Wednesday afternoon, but at the Essendon Direct Factory Outlet the foot traffic is frenzied. Shoppers carry several bags on each arm, half-running from one shop to the next, many with children in tow. Other shoppers wander around dazed, perhaps overwhelmed by the bargains being paraded.

Justin Chen is one such hunter who has emerged triumphant from the DFO. He's here from New York visiting family, and drove about 15 kilometres to Essendon from his temporary home in South Yarra. He's got five bags full of clothes, including two-for-one T-shirts bought at Just Jeans for $40 and a spotty grey blouse from Witchery for his girlfriend, reduced to $59.95.
"I think the trek is worth it," he says. "The clothes are much cheaper than in the US. I'm very happy with what I bought."

Unknown to him, identical T-shirts and blouses were available this month at the same stores for the same price in the city. When I give him this price check, he doesn't mind. "It's still a bargain," he says, beaming.

But perhaps what he does not realise is that regardless of the value of shopping at outlet centres, it is the property developer, not the consumer, who is really making the killing. The cost difference between retail and industrial rents gives outlet centre operators a distinct advantage over traditional shopping centres. And while the sector continues to expand rapidly in Australia, the genuine "factory" savings are diminishing.

Australian Retailers Association director Michael Lonie says outlet centres are clearance houses for retailers. "At the end of the season shops end up with broken ranges where all of the key sizes have completely gone," he says. "They want to get this stock out of their normal stores."
Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes is less diplomatic. He says some retailers are manufacturing clothing especially for outlet centres.

"What was once the competitive advantage of being run-out merchandise at bargain prices has now become the same merchandise under different labels, engineered specifically for those stores," Brookes says. "I would confidently say that the majority of merchandise you're now getting in an outlet mall is not clearance merchandise."

"Direct factory outlet" is a misnomer. Twenty years ago, factories sent their damaged or unwanted stock directly to cheap, Spartan shops nearby, such as those on Bridge Road in Richmond, where shoppers scavenged for one-off bargains. But clothing manufacturing has moved offshore, Bridge Road now resembles a normal shopping strip, and enclosed outlet centres, which look like shopping malls in industrial sheds, are thriving.

The property industry has renamed them "retail outlet centres", and they turn over about $1 billion each year. A Jones Lang LaSalle report in June stated that "the majority of the tenants in an outlet centre are first and foremost retailers, not manufacturers".
A DFO brochure entices shoppers: "How much shopping can you handle?" In Australia, and particularly Melbourne, the answer could be "not much more". There are 15 centres across the country, but expansion plans suggest there could be up to 30 within five years, or one centre for every 730,000 people. The US has about one centre for every 1 million people — and the industry has been declining, with the number of centres shrinking from 329 in 1996 to 225 in 2005.

Brookes says the outlet centre will become a "dinosaur" and that many outlet centres in the US look like "ghost towns". He says the cost of petrol puts people off, and that the business model has lost its competitive advantage, because the same deals are available at clearance sales in department stores and other shops.

Yet developers remain confident. DFO, the market leader, owns three of Melbourne's four outlet centres, at Spencer Street, Essendon and Cheltenham, each with about 25,000 square metres of floor space. (The fourth, Brand Smart at Nunawading, has only 7500 sq m of space and is owned by MacarthurCook Retail Property Trust.) DFO plans eventually to operate 15 to 20 stores across Australia.

DFO's main rival, the Harbour Town franchise owned by ING and Lewis Land, is building a new retail outlet centre at Docklands, just a few kilometres from the booming Spencer Street DFO. Construction is also under way by MAB on a Brand Junction centre at its housing development at University Hill near Bundoora, about 20 kilometres from the Essendon DFO.
How can they afford it, if the market is indeed in danger of oversupply? An Australian property researcher, who declined to be named, says the answer is "deception".

"They are charlatans — retailers masquerading as factory outlets," he says. "Industrial rents in Melbourne average about $60 a square metre, while retailers in DFOs in the same area would pay about $150 to $200 a square metre.

"Shopping centre owners make a substantial investment compared to outlet centre owners, with similar gains.

"If they were selling the stuff nobody wanted to buy, nobody would mind. But besides all the garbage and the size-six shorts, there is full-line stuff in there that you can get in the city."
A SURVEY by The Age found that in all three DFO-owned centres, most shops carried at least some full-price, current-season stock, available at normal shopping centres. Some carried a majority of new-season stock. Discounts, if available, ranged from 10 to 70 per cent.

The purchases of two shoppers at DFO Spencer Street exemplify the new mix of discount and full-price merchandise. Margie Lindley and Brigitta Hudson, who make an annual shopping trip from Adelaide to Melbourne, sit at a cafe in the centre with their shoes kicked off after a long day on their feet. Brigitta has bought some Peter Alexander bath products discounted from $19 to $5, while Margie shows me a cute lime-green T-shirt she bought for her great-nephew for $20 from Seed. She admits sheepishly that it was not on sale, but "she had to have it anyway".
But does it matter if the discounts aren't as good as they used to be? DFO managing director Frank De Rango says there is nothing wrong with merging discounted and full-price stock, and that DFO Spencer Street had a different business model. "It's more of a mix — the Spencer Street DFO is a very prominent site and has a very different flavour," he says.

Shopping Centre Council director Milton Cockburn has no problem with DFO Spencer Street, but is concerned by centres on cheap industrial or airport land, including Melbourne's Essendon and Cheltenham DFOs. He says the Airports Act of 1996, which led to the privatisation of federal airport land, has created an unfair playing field and caused major planning issues. "On one side of the road you have the state planning authority with a retail plan in place making the decision," says Cockburn, "and on the other side of the road you have the federal transport minister.

"Decisions made about major trip-generating activities are being made by the Federal Government without any sort of proper planning advice."
A spokesman for State Planning Minister Justin Madden agrees: "The redevelopment of Commonwealth land in isolation from planning scheme requirements … can undermine state policy, contradict centre planning and affect the viability of nearby strip shopping centres."

DFO had planned a new centre on Hobart airport land, but a decision this month by federal Transport Minister Mark Vaile to approve a smaller centre prompted DFO to shelve its plans. The approval for a 10,000 sq m centre (instead of one measuring 18,000 sq m) was dismissed as too small to gain the "critical mass" needed to attract people to the outskirts of the city.
The Hobart DFO is on the backburner, but in Canberra, opponents perhaps have a better chance of a practical and moral victory. DFO is building a 21,500 sq m centre at Fyshwick — notorious home of Canberra's homemaker centres and porn shops — on land zoned expressly for bulky goods, not retailing. Yet despite the planning discrepancy, major controversy lies with the way DFO bought the site.
On a hot afternoon in December 2005, registered bidders including Canberra Airport owner Terry Snow and Austexx chief executive Geoff Porz walked into an auction room near Lake Burley Griffin, armed with pre-auction valuations of about $13 million.

Incredibly, the site sold for $39 million to Porz. Snow pulled out at $18 million, then slumped out of the auction room, apparently muttering that he thought his was a brave bid.
Tom Snow, who manages his father's Canberra outlet centre, Brand Depot, believes DFO knew something the other bidders didn't: the ACT Legislative Council would allow an outlet centre to be built on land zoned for bulky goods.

"It was bulky goods without exception," Snow says. "But DFO had other evidence that retail would be possible."

The ACT Government introduced retrospective legislation in light of the dispute, and the ACT Auditor-General found that there was nothing improper with the sale.

The matter is before the Supreme Court. "They've put themselves in a very dangerous position by starting construction," Snow says. "There is a potential that the centre will be closed down."
De Rango says he is "not aware of anything before the courts". "As far as I'm concerned all the claims have been dismissed," he says. "We're spending $100 million to build the Canberra DFO, so obviously we don't see that there's going to be a problem.

"People have been agitating against us for years … In venues around the country that we're looking to establish, we expect to have hotly contested debate and perhaps litigation on developing those sites. Everywhere we go, unless we're able to secure a site that has a very clear, precise zoning, we would expect to have someone contest."

The pay-off for all this litigation and angst is the gains to be made from the gap between retailing and industrial prices. While shoppers such as Justin, Brigitta and Margie believe they've nabbed a good deal during recent jaunts to DFO centres, it's nothing compared with the deals retail property developers can reap by setting up on cheap land.

A Canberra Times editorial recorded a pertinent moment at the auction on that hot December day. Porz, while waiting to sign the necessary documents for the shock $38 million sale of the Fyshwick site, allegedly sent his wife a one-word text message: "Bargain."

MELBOURNE'S factory outlet revolution is leading shoppers astray.

The Herald Sun has found that almost 75 per cent of women's clothing outlets at Melbourne's newest bargain basement mall are stocked with full-priced garments, with few discounts in sight.

One sales assistant at Direct Factory Outlets on Spencer St admitted that the discounted stock sold at her store was up to four seasons old.

Another estimated that 75 per cent of the stock in her store was being sold at exactly the same price as flagship stores in the CBD.

The Herald Sun went in search of a discount outfit for the Spring Racing Carnival, but got no change from $300.

Prices for racing outfits were the same as in the Bourke St Mall.
Disappointed shoppers Lisa Reynolds, 27, and Lana Bridgman, 25, from New Zealand, said the discounted stock was too out-of-date to wear to the races.
Sue Watson, 58, and daughter Isabelle, 20, from Northcote, said there was nothing in DFO to tempt them to part with their cash.
"We came here hoping to get some good bargains, but the stuff that's discounted is just rubbish," Ms Watson said.

"There's a lot of junk and a lot of expensive stuff."
The Herald Sun's findings follow a similar survey by consumer watchdog Choice, which found shoppers could get value at suburban factory outlets but often ended up blowing their budgets.
DFO spokeswoman Jenny Freyer said the city DFO store did not have as much discounted stock as its suburban counterparts because of the clientele it attracted.
She said city shoppers were more likely to want in-season items.
"Ninety-nine per cent of the stock in our suburban stores is discounted, but our city stores have more full-priced things," she said.

Choice, which will release the findings of its study this week, found a family could save more than $650 off the price of three outfits if they shopped at a suburban DFO.
But the study found that shoppers often spent more than they intended to.
Choice spokesman Chris Zinn said people spent more time and money at a factory outlet than at a mall.

He said unless people had shopped around and compared prices, they might not be aware they were buying full-priced goods.

"There's that expectation of a bargain and people go there thinking that they're going to save some money even if the reality is different," he said.
"The DFO brand is good enough to get people in the shopping centres.",21985,22663165-2862,00.html

Friday, October 19, 2007

DEGI acquires Tuscany factory outlet centre

DEGI acquires Tuscany factory outlet centre
5 Jul, 2006, Tuscany

DEGI Deutsche Gesellschaft für Immobilienfonds mbH has purchased the Valdichiana Outlet Village between Florence and Rome for DEGI INTERNATIONAL fund by a share deal. The investment volume totals approximately €88.5 million; the seller is the Italian property company, Gruppo Stilo,the development company of the Percassi Group, which will continue to handle management and letting of the centre.

The property is situated about 30 kilometres south of Arezzo directly on the A1 Milan-Rome motorway, and close to the Siena-Perugia highway. The total floor space, currently measuring 17,540 sq m, has all been let to prestigious international and national branded goods vendors. The shopping centre's architecture is attractive and contemporary; promenades, plus some small piazzas, contribute some typical elements of Tuscan townscapes. The centre's catchment area includes almost four million people. Jones Lang LaSalle and DLA Piper Rudnick have acted as the sole advisors to DEGI on the above transaction.

Valdichiana Outlet Village was developed by Gruppo Stilo as part of their extensive retail development programme in Italy and represents the Group's second Factory Outlet initiative, following the successful completion of the Franciacorta Outlet Village near Brescia in northern Italy. Gruppo Stilo was represented in this transaction by Cushman & Wakefield.
"We are confident that factory outlet centres will permanently change the structure of Italian retailing. The factors driving success here are size and professional centre management," says Bärbel Schomberg, Speaker of DEGI's Management Board. Although there have been autonomous factory outlet centres in Italy only since 2000, the country has developed into Europe's second-largest market in this segment, after the UK, with eleven centres currently up and running, most of them in Northern Italy. The population of Tuscany and neighbouring Umbria, the centre's catchment area, has above-average purchasing power compared to the rest of Italy. In addition, thanks to its location on the "Autostrada del Sole", the centre will attract a lot of tourists.

For 2006, DEGI is anticipating around 3.5 million visitors, and is aiming to expand the centre. By early 2007, the intention is to upsize the area to around 32,000 sq m, and to increase the number of shops from its current 65 to approximately 125. Customers will then have 3,000 parking slots available.

Factory Outlets in Tuscany

Fashion insiders know that you need to look beyond Via Tornabuoni in Florence and Via Condotti in Rome to find Italy's best shopping. A number of outlet malls hidden in the hills of Tuscany—especially in the Valdarno valley southeast of Florence—promise amazing savings on designer duds. Unlike in U.S. outlet malls, the goods here aren't manufactured specifically for discount sales; they're the real thing, marked down by 50 percent or better. Of course, outlet shopping is always hit-or-miss, but true shoppers know that the hunt is half the fun.
You'll need a car; otherwise arrange a tour through a travel agency that specializes in Tuscany

Prada Factory Outlet

68 Località LevanellaMontevarchi52025Tel: 39 055 91 901
Trust Italy's most exclusive label to make its outlet store, just outside the town of Montevarchi, almost impossible to find, with signage so minimal that it feels like a treasure hunt. To get there, head south from Florence on the A1 Autostrada and take the Val d'Arno exit. Bear right, following the signs for Montevarchi. At the large roundabout, exit to the left, continuing toward Arezzo. Pass through Montevarchi and into Località Levanella. Shortly after the village, you'll see an Agip gas station on your right. Take the left at the flashing light immediately after it, following the signs for the Zona Industriale and "I Pellettieri d'Italia"—the official name of this huge gray and black warehouse with a sawtooth roof. Even when you've found a place to park the car, you're not quite in: First, you have to take a number from the ticket machine, then wait your turn, perhaps over a pricey cappuccino at the Prada bar on the corner, where an electronic number counter keeps you posted on progress. The reward is men's and women's clothing and accessories from both the Prada and Miu Miu labels at a fraction of the usual price (men's suits, for example, can be picked up for a third of what you would pay in London or New York, sometimes less). The outlet is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday; smart shoppers know to avoid the weekend crush.

The Mall

8 Via EuropaLeccioReggello50060Tel: 39 055 865
This smart new open-air mall, way out in the boonies about 40 minutes southeast of Florence, features an ever-growing strip of outlets from Italy's top design houses (and others). The Mall now hosts Agnona, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Emanuel Ungaro, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Hogan, La Perla, Loro Piana, Pucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sergio Rossi, Stella McCartney, Tod's, Valentino, Yohji Yamamoto, and Yves

UFO Stores Online

Shop Online at UFO Stores - Australia's Ultimate Factory Outlet.If you're looking for high quality, brand name clothing at prices that won't break the bank, then we have exactly what you need. At UFO Stores, we pride ourselves on providing fashionable clothing at discount prices from our secure online store. In fact, our experience in buying wholesale clothing means that many of our items are priced at up to 70% off recommended retail prices.

Although UFO Stores specialises in women's lingerie and hosiery, including bras, briefs and pantyhose, we also provide a wide selection of men's, women's and child's clothing, sleepwear and underwear. Our huge range of popular brands includes Jag, Crystelle, Berlei, Bonds, Jockey, Hestia, Kolotex and Lovable. We also stock a selection of women's plus size brands, including Vanity Fair and Maggie T.

Browse our online catalogue by brand or lifestyle - we'll help you find the discount clothing you're looking for. Our products can be ordered online through our safe, secure online ordering system, and shipped anywhere in Australia. So, simply select your items, sit back and let us do the rest!For the convenience of online shopping with guaranteed security, and the unlimited bargains of Melbourne's favourite factory outlet store, UFO Stores online is your ultimate online factory outlet.

Balin Factory Outlet

Bringing the beach and the surf closer.

Balin Factory Outlet
Balin, one of Australia's original surf brands offers a full range of surf clothing and accessories for both sexes and all ages. Stock is excess from current and prior seasons, it encompasses traditional and contemporary designs, is attractively priced and a full range of sizes are available.

Follow this link to view the Balin Factory Outlet website
Phone: (03) 9877 9060

Melbourne Factory Outlets

Melbourne Factory Outlets

If you’re looking for brands at discount prices Melbourne has Factory Outlets [discount shops] to cater for everyone’s style and wallet.Factory outlets are manufacturers own retail shops (or are meant to be) offering name brands at rock bottom clearance prices. With locations all over Melbourne, Factory Outlets are the place to save money...Brand Smart Factory Mall Over 48 factory outlet stores under one roof, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Jigsaw and many more.

286 Whitehorse Road,

Bridge Road, Richmond Bridge Road and is always buzzing with bargain hungry shoppers overloaded with bags full of shoes, clothing accessories and gifts. Some of Melbourne's most successful retail stores have their warehouses on Bridge Road, selling the latest fashion items at clearance prices.

Smith Street, Collingwood The vibe is wildly-alternative-meets-eager-young-professionals and the shops are full of grungy, earthy bargains with the occasional gem. Many of the major outdoor clothing brands have factory outlets here including Kathmandu, Nike, Mountain Design and Adidas. Smith Street Collingwood Melbourne -

WikopediaDirect Factory Outlets :: DFOMelbourne's largest collection of outlet stores offering a huge range of Australia's top brands. Cheltenham - corner of Centre Dandenong Road and Grange Road Cheltenham.Essendon - 100 Bulla Road Strathmore.Spencer St [Opening Nov 2006] - Next to Southern Cross Railway Station. Direct Factory Outlets

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Escada Fashion Outlet

EscadaPhone: 1-905-357-2307Fax:
The Escada Fashion Outlet is an incredibly unique shopping venue, located minutes from the Canadian Falls.

The Escada Fashion Outlet is as diverse as the surroundings in which it is located. Since its' inception in 1978, this prominent German Fashion House continues to produce stylish International Collections such as: Escada Margaretha Ley, Escada Couture, Escada Sport and Laurel.

To compliment this wonderful selection of women's fine apparel, we offer a beautiful assortment of shoes, accessories and fragrances. Escada is a world of elaborate fabrics, exciting colour pallets,and exquisitely elegant fashions. Quality and service are top priority in all that is representative of Escada. Our courteous and knowledgeable sales consultant will make shopping at Escada an enjoyable and most memorable experience. The Escada Fashion Outlet is definitely a shopper's delight.

Now yours to explore at the Canada One Factory Outlet Mall.

DFO Brisbane


Fly in for Big Brands, Big Bargains and Big Savings at up to 70% off.You don't need to be flying anywhere to visit Brisbane Airport. Enjoy a trip out there for big brands and big bargains at up to 70% off.At DFO Brisbane you’ll find 100 big name brands all under the one roof. With so many brands to choose from, you’re sure to find everything you’re looking for in ladies and men's fashion, children's wear, footwear, handbags and luggage, homewares, lingerie and jewellery, more specialised stores and loads more. And to keep your energy levels up throughout your shopping day, there are food courts, cafes and juice bars. Plus there’s free parking for over 1000 cars. So, leave your passport at home and hurry down to DFO Brisbane Airport. Our sales assistants are waiting to serve you.

Trading Hours: Open 7 Days 10am to 6pm

Welcome to Direct Factory Outlets

Welcome to Direct Factory Outlets, or more commonly referred to as DFO. If you’re a shopper who loves a bargain (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), DFO is your haven. It’s the only shopping destination of its kind in Australia where you can stroll through up to 120 big name brands and pay up to 70% less – at any time of year.

DFO is Australia's smarter, bigger and better way to shop. We’re huge. At any of our five DFO outlets (soon to total 11), across the east coast of Australia, you can stroll through over 90-120 individual factory outlet stores - all under the one roof.

Excited? Good. But before you call up your shopping buddies, check out this DFO website to find out more about the DFO outlet nearest you . Here on our website you’ll find a centre map, our brands, our services, plus how to sign up for our e-newsletter .
Happy Discovering! Trading Hours: Open 7 Days 10am to 6pm DFO Spencer open until 9pm on Fridays

An exciting new branding TV campaign for DFO, featuring the gorgeous Livinia Nixon launched during September. A series of three ads were shot in-store at DFO Essendon and Spencer Street over two action-packed days

Expansion Announced for Centralia Factory Outlets


The Prism Company
Major Renovation and Expansion Announced for Centralia Factory Outlets
Seattle (WA) May 17, 2005 - R. K. Getty Corp., the owners of the 201,815 s.f. Centralia Factory Outlets in Centralia, Washington, have announced plans for a major renovation and expansion designed to encourage travelers on Interstate 5 to spend more time at the center. "By incorporating some of the latest lifestyle-trends in retail development, as well as adding restaurants and services for travelers, we will extend the time they spend shopping during their trip," stated Sandra Smith, Director of Real Estate, for R.K. Getty Corp.

Planned upgrades include a new courtyard with seating, a fountain, and an Internet Cafe and Lounge for visitors. Major architectural renovations will include converting an existing building which has been enclosed, into 25,000 s.f. of new retail suites with exterior storefronts, sidewalk-scapes and front-door parking. Upgraded rest room facilities, and lighting and signage improvements are also planned for the center. An aggressive multi-tiered marketing and leasing plan focuses on attracting women shoppers from the local market and improving the tenant mix to appeal to the international tourist market.

"Centralia Factory Outlets benefits from an outstanding location and the best frontage on a major traffic corridor that I have ever seen - anywhere," stated Janet L. Grady, President of The PRISM Company, Inc., which specializes in the factory outlet industry and has been tapped to lead the leasing effort for Centralia Factory Outlets. "The center has a strong core tenancy of nationally-known tenants whose sales have continued to grow steadily over the past 10 years in this market. We plan to bring in new tenants who will serve the trade area, improve the restaurant-mix, and bring the amenities, signage, landscaping and common area furnishings up to state-of-the-art."

The center is located on Interstate 5 at Exit 82, which has long been recognized by travelers as the preferred stopping point on the trip between Seattle and Portland. The average daily traffic count at Exit 82 is 64,000 cars. Renate Johnson, Marketing and Property Manager, recently completed a year-long campaign targeting local and state officials which led to the renaming and signing of Exit 82 as Factory Outlet Way. "This added exposure and directional advertising on the Intersate. It has been very valuable to the center in increased traffic and sales," stated Johnson.

"Centralia Factory Outlets serves a retail market area of over 1.8 million people living with an easy hour's drive of the center," stated Grady. "Residential growth along the Interstate 5 corridor South of Seattle has been exploding, and the center has very strong loyalty from the local market of Centralia/Chehalis."

Centralia Factory Outlets features over 30 brand name outlet stores including Levi's Outlet, Quiksilver, Pfaltzgraff Outlet, Kitchen Collection, Farberware, Casual Corner Outlet, Easy Spirit, Dress Barn/Dress Barn Woman Outlet, L'eggs Hanes Bali Playtex, Van Heusen and G. H. Bass Outlet. The outlet center is located on Interstate 5 at Exit 82, Factory Outlet Way. The hours of operation are 9 - 8 p.m. Monday - Saturday, 10 - 6 Sunday. For more information call (360) 736-3327 or visit

Ten Tips to Tanger Bargains

Hunting Trip More Fun
1 Plan Ahead... Visit
Before heading to Tanger for a fun-filled day of outlet shopping, we suggest that you explore first. Our site will provide all of the information that you will need to make the .most of your Tanger shopping trip. In addition to center locations and store listings, the Tanger website also features coupons and special offers that you can print and use on your Tanger shopping excursion. While visiting you can also sign up for Tanger's E-mail Update. Each month, we'll keep you informed about exclusive store discounts, special offers .and exciting promotional events taking place at Tanger Outlet Centers coast to coast.

2 Make A List Of Specific Items You Are Looking To Find
Some Tanger Outlet Centers can feature more than 100 stores. It can be exciting to have so many great brand names and designer fashions to choose from when shopping. Don't make the mistake of leaving without the one thing you came for in the first place. When shopping for other people, make a note of their sizes and favorite colors ahead of time.

3 Visit The Customer Service Center
Upon arrival, check in at the Tanger Customer Service Center or center office. Inquire about the availability of discount coupons, updated store information, current sales and promotions in progress. Make sure to pick up a center brochure which provides a map of the store locations if you didn't get one in advance. You can also sign-up to become a TangerClub member. Club members receive special discounts, exclusive offers, free gifts and much more. If you are a frequent Tanger shopper, than TangerClub is perfect for you.

4 Shop Smart To Avoid The Most Crowded Time Of The Day
Tanger Outlet Centers are open 7 days a week. Maximize shopping time by going during the week instead of weekends, when stores are less crowded. Also, shop early or late in the day to avoid possible mid-day heat.

5 The More The Merrier
Shopping with friends or family members is always more fun and can lead to a more efficient shopping trip. For instance, when one person is trying on clothes, the others can be getting additional items and acting as fashion consultant. Remember, it's always best to have someone you trust with you when trying on clothing. Also, if check out lines get long, one can stay in line while the others go on to scout the next shop. Additionally, you can take advantage of multiple discounts when shopping in a pair. If stores are offering a two-for-one special and you only need one, you .can team up with one of your outlet shopping partners to share the added savings.

6 Outlet Shopping Is Fun For The Family
A bargain hunting trip to Tanger is a wonderful family activity. Tanger Outlet Centers have something for everyone. Your family will discover everything from the latest brand name fashions and accessories to home décor, books, music CDs, toys, outdoor gear, and much, much more. After a day of outlet shopping, everyone will have fun comparing all of the great deals they found.

7 Dress For Comfort
Comfort is a key to having a fun-filled shopping experience. Wear your most comfortable shoes and wear clothing that is easy to get in and out of. This will make trying on new clothing much easier. Carrying a lightweight handbag will help lighten your load. Also, dress for the season's weather since many times you must go outdoors to get from one store to the next.

8 Check Return Policies
Before making your purchase, check the store's return policy. Contrary to what most people believe, outlet stores now offer return policies similar to other retail establishments. Some will accept returns with no questions asked and offer cash refunds, while others will give store credit. This makes it safe to buy gifts which can be returned or exchanged, if necessary.

9 Utilize The Sales Help
Most outlet stores have very helpful sales associates who can help point out sale items and help you find the specific items you want. They are also privy to information about anticipated new shipments, the store's best bargains and any special services offered such as the ability to ship your purchases home.

10 Relax. It's Guaranteed. So Have Fun!
Tanger Outlet Shopping is meant to be fun. Enjoy the experience of buying and saving direct from the manufacturer, and be confident that you are buying your favorite brand name designer fashions at the best advertised price. If you purchase any merchandise from any Tanger Outlet Center store and find it advertised for less anywherre else within 30 days, bring a copy of the advertisment and a copy of your dated Tanger store receipt to the Tanger center management office (during business hours) within 30 days of your purchase. We'll gladly refund the difference in cash.

This offer is good on all merchandise at all Tanger Outlet Center stores nationwide. Guaranteed! So, when you're ready to shop - Relax. It's Guaranteed®.

How is Tanger pronounced?

Tanger is pronounced "Tang·er" - rhymes with "hanger" Where do I find information about Tanger Outlets including center locations, directions, store listings, shopping hours, phone numbers, etc.? To find information about Tanger Outlet Centers, simply navigate our website or when you are not online, call 800-4-TANGER. Why is outlet shopping at Tanger so popular?
What could be more fun than spending the day with family and friends bargain hunting at Tanger! Tanger Outlet Centers feature more than 2,000 outlet stores which are owned and operated by the most popular, brand name manufacturers. Buying direct from the manufacturer at Tanger means you'll always save more.

How much will I save by shopping at Tanger?

Because you are making your purchases directly from the manufacturer (and avoiding the middleman), brand name merchandise can be purchased at 20%-40% below retail prices every day at Tanger Outlet Centers. What kind of merchandise is available at Tanger Outlet Centers?
The vast majority of merchandise available at Tanger Outlet Centers is first quality and in-season. Tanger centers feature brand name and designer fashions and accessories for the entire family, jewelry, housewares and china, home décor, luggage, toys, books, compact discs, food specialties, and much, much more. You'll find entire stores filled with merchandise from your favorite brands. A mall department store, on the other hand, typically has only a small area in the store devoted to a particular brand. Because each store is owned by the manufacturer, store employees will be very knowledgeable about their store's brand name merchandise.

Which charitable programs does Tanger support?

Tanger is committed to helping make the communities that we serve, better places to live and work. Tanger has concentrated its charitable efforts in two important areas: Children and Breast Cancer Awareness.

Through the company's annual Tanger Bucks For Schools Program, we partner with schools in our communities to provide funds to help purchase library books and other important classroom supplies. Tanger has been on the frontline in the battle against breast cancer since 1994. Our annual Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign has now raised in excess of $3.5 million nationally to benefit local American Cancer Society chapters.

Where can I find out about job openings at Tanger stores?

Tanger's brand name outlet stores across the country offer thousands of full and part time retail positions. To find out about job opportunities available at the Tanger Outlet Center nearest you, visit or call the Tanger Customer Service Center or check out the Human Resources section on

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Benetton seeks to diversify

The Benettons and Goldman Sachs were meeting in New York on Thursday and Friday to decide how best to vet and choose investors who want to put up billions of euros to join the Italian family in its latest venture.

The Benettons, famous for their clothing company, are on the move again after months of delays and disappointments over their investments in the Italian motorway network and in Telecom Italia.

Goldman's private equity wing has already put in €1bn ($1.4bn), about a quarter of the amount being sought for investments in global infrastructure assets from toll roads to airports and railway stations.

It is the most dramatic change in the Benettons' empire since the four siblings from north-east Italy founded their clothing group in the 1960s.

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The family has also been joined by Mediobanca, the Italian investment bank, which has put in €300m. They want another €2.7bn.

Gilberto Benetton, one of the siblings, said this week: "We are aiming to sell up to 49 per cent [in the venture] and we are looking for three partners, possibly from Asia, the Middle East and eastern Europe who will bring business and not just financial resources."
The Benettons are worth more than €9bn, half of which is in their global clothing business and half is in Italian infrastructure.

They are also present in Telecom Italia, a bad investment which started in 2001 and has cost them €1bn in writedowns as the value of telecoms assets has shrunk.
The Benettons are staying in the controlling shareholder group as it changes hands from Pirelli, the tyre company, and its partners to a consortium including Telefónica, the Spanish telecoms company. Regulatory delays continue to hold up the transfer of control and T Italia has been in limbo for months.

The family's other interests run from Atlantia, the company which operates the majority of Italy's motorway toll roads, to airports in Rome, Florence and Turin and a share in 13 of the country's main railway stations. They also control Autogrill, the roads and airports caterer.
The first effort to make the portfolio more international fell apart last year. Atlantia, then called Autostrade, saw its merger plans with Abertis of Spain scuppered by the Italian government. Rome, which is being investigated by the European Commission over the affair, announced a wide-ranging review of the econ­o­m­ics of toll road concessions.

While the review was running, it made Atlantia's future profitability impossible to assess, and the merger hard to conclude.

The threat of losing the concession has recently been lifted, with Atlantia reaching an agreement with the government which could be passed by parliament next year.
But it is probably too late to revive the Abertis deal. The Spanish strategy has moved on, and so has that of the Benettons.

For the first time the Benettons want to dilute their holdings substantially to allow in others. The infrastructure side of the business, named Sintonia, is broadly doubling its capital base from €4bn to €8bn, and being supplemented by €2bn borrowed from the Royal Bank of Scotland.
People close to the family say they were jolted by the bad publicity arising from the Atlantia dispute with the government. Antonio Di Pietro, the infrastructure minister, made much of allegations that Atlantia had been taking toll money but failing to invest it in the network as promised.

The company admits it is hun­dreds of million of euros behind in its investments, but blames regulatory and planning delays. The finger-pointing and bad publicity is going to continue for a long time.

Of 3,800km of motorway under Atlantia's control, only 800km has more than two lanes on each side. While the rest is being upgraded slowly in coming decades, the Benettons hard­ly want to be perceived as foot-dragging profiteers rath­er than path-breaking purveyors of fashionable clothing.

One person close to the family said: "We want to separate the joy of buying clothes from the pain of paying for tolls."

Outside investors would also help to secure the future of the Benettons' fortune by bringing in hard-nosed and long-term financial partners.

This is linked to generational change; the siblings are not getting any younger. Luciano Benetton, who is 72, has already handed over control of the clothing company to his son Alessandro. Gilberto Benetton, who has been in charge of the investments, is 66.

So what is the pitch for new investors? The deal with the government has cleared the air over Atlantia, which accounts for about 75 per cent of the Benettons' infrastructure investments.
Rome's airports have also recently seen a power struggle resolved. The Benettons and partners bought out the share held by Macquarie, the Australian bank.

But although passenger traffic is set to treble over 20 years, there is uncertainty over Alitalia, the ailing airline, and airport concessions in general.

That uncertainty also afflicts Turin and Florence airports, the family's other existing investments.

Part of the attraction of the scheme is the investment opportunities outside Italy.
As Gilberto Benetton implied, Sintonia's partners will be expected to open doors around the world.

The selection of new investors will probably continue until the middle of next year.
After that, people close to the company say, if Abertis and Atlantia want to revive their merger, the Spaniards can be absorbed into the new financial structure.