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CBRE: Investors bullish on outlet centers

Commercial real estate investors have traditionally shied away from the outlet retail sector, but that’s beginning to change, according to two CBRE executives.

“An influx of new players is beginning to broaden the sector and spark conversations about its key attributes. I’ve seen multiple private equity groups and pension funds underwriting outlet offerings,” CBRE executive VP Richard Frolik told

Frolik’s colleague Phil Voorhees added that outlet centers have always offered great value — a key component of the 21st Century retail equation—and are beginning to catch up in other areas.

“CBRE expects that outlet centers will add quick-casual restaurant, beverage, and even service uses over time, blurring the line between traditional outlet centers and conventional retail,” Voorees said.

Outlet centers embrace of digital marketing alternatives have endeared them to millennial shoppers and new racetrack designs and interactive display directories make the shopping experience easier for Baby Boomers, said Frolik, who noted that 20 new outlet centers have come on-stream in the last four years.

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