Simon Property Group L.P., which owns more than 200 shopping malls in North America, launched an ecommerce shopping site for its outlet properties.
The site, ShopPremiumOutlets.com, will operate similar to a marketplace. Brands and retailers manage their own product pages on the site and control what is listed on ShopPremiumOutlets.com. Shoppers can purchase products from multiple brands and check out directly on ShopPremiumOutlets.com without being redirected anywhere else, says Chidi Achara, chief creative officer at Simon. Simon will take a commission on each sale from the marketplace.
Right now the marketplace is only open to brands who have a physical location in a Simon Premium Outlet property, however, Achara tells Internet Retailer that Simon is open to expanding it to other brands in the future. Simon is beta-testing the site with brands including Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Karl Lagerfeld Paris, Aéropostale, Cole Haan, G.H. Bass & Co., Nautica, Reebok Outlet, Skechers, U.S. Polo Assn. (No. 602 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000) and Wilsons Leather. Eventually, there will be 2,000 designers and more than 300,000 products on the site, Achara says.
Simon is expecting a “healthy return” on its investment, Achara says. The goal for the site is to drive incremental sales and traffic for the retailers both online and in stores, Simon says.
“There is a tremendous commercial opportunity for Simon, brands, and retailers retailers to drive incremental traffic and sales, both online and in our centers, by offering a convenient way to discover the best outlet deals, anytime and anywhere, and we estimate the total addressable online market for discounted fashion to be over $200 billion and growing,” he says.
The site is only open to consumers in Simon’s Premium Outlet’s VIP Shopper Club, which has 4 million members in the U.S. The site has a login page which only allows club members to sign in. The club is free and anyone can join. The site is on track to launch to all consumers later this spring, Simon says.
Shopping malls have struggled for years, with the rise of ecommerce, dwindling foot traffic and store closures.
In early March, Gap Inc. (No. 20) said it would slash 230 stores of its namesake brand over the next two years, J.C. Penney Co. (No. 31) confirmed it would shutter 18 department stores and L Brands Inc. (No. 26) says it will close 53 Victoria’s Secret locations in North America this year. Plus, Payless ShoeSource Inc. (No. 419) is closing 2,5oo stores, Things Remembered Inc. (No. 462) is closing most of its 400 stores and selling the rest, mall favorite Brookstone Inc. (No. 371) is slimming down store operations and Sears Holdings Corp. (No. 24) continues to shutter locations.
Bloomberg News contributed to this report.Favorite