Iowa outlet center is now an “Outlet & Marketplace”

Outlet centers that have longed relied on tourist trade are now homing in on regular business from locals.
Al Urbanski
Williamsburt outlet - TORG
The Outlet Resource Group center attains a new identity.

Outlet centers are seeding their national-name tenant mixes with local brands to cater to local consumer needs and wants. One has added so many that it’s changed its name.

Outlets Williamsburg, located in that Iowa town, has changed its name to Outlets & Marketplace Williamsburg after adding more than 10 locally owned boutiques to its tenant roster that women’s fashion, home décor, antiques, among other things.

The 250,000 sq. ft. center operated by The Outlet Resource Group, has also welcomed local restaurants such as Bryant’s Chill & Grill and Pino’s Sicilian Pizzeria to serve guests alongside McDonald’s and Subway.

“We have been working on expanding our tenant categories since we acquired the center and now is the right time to rebrand and more effectively communicate who we are,” said TORG Principal David Hinkle. “Outlets & Marketplace Williamsburg recognizes the need to diversify its merchandise mix to better serve our changing consumer needs.”

The 262,000-sq.-ft outlet center is also adding local services such as the Williamsburg Community Child Care Center and Cove Equipment--a farm and home implement dealer—to its tenant lineup.

Such additions, according to the outlet’s general manager Kristie Wetjen, mirror a national movement undertaken by all retail real estate sectors to include a wider array of amenities that appeal to shoppers within their regions.

“While we will continue to have our shopper’s favorite name-brands, we are focused on adding more small businesses, food and beverage tenants, and service-based industry at the center to better serve our immediate community,” Wetjen said.

The more than 30 tenants at Outlets & Marketplace Williamsburg include American Eagle Outfitters, Coach, Columbia Factory Store, Eddie Bauer Outlet, and Nike Clearance Store.

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