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Simon partners with Leap to bring DTC brands to shopping centers

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Direct-to-consumer brands are coming to two Simon malls.

Simon is looking to help direct-to-consumer brands evolve into omnichannel retailers by expanding in brick-and-mortar.

The mall operator is teaming up with Leap to open multiple stores at its properties for direct-to-consumer brands. To start, Simon and Leap are planning to open four stores at Simon centers located in California and Florida.

The featured brands include True Classic Tees, which will open at Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrence, Calif., and ThirdLove, Sugarfina, and Goodlife, which will open at Town Center at Boca Raton, Fla.

"We are excited to work with Leap to help introduce growing brands to the value of brick-and-mortar retail,” said Zachary Beloff, VP of leasing at Simon. “This is a pivotal time where stores are top of mind with nearly every brand growing in the U.S., and with the speed and nimbleness of the Leap model, the expansion process has been streamlined immensely. It is our hope that by working together we will continue to both incubate brands through the Leap platform as well as help them expand throughout our portfolio where they can reach hundreds of millions of their target consumers annually.”

"Our retail expansion wouldn't be possible without the Leap platform, so the fact that Leap is working with Simon makes us even more excited for the future of our brand," said Andrew Codispoti, co-CEO at Goodlife.

Leap's platform enables brands to deploy stores that work in concert with e-commerce more rapidly and at significantly reduced cost and risk

"We're thrilled to be expanding our footprint with Simon,” said Amish Tolia, co-founder and co-CEO at Leap. “The team invested in our Series B raise, and now, we're pooling our competitive advantages and data-driven approach to deploy the next generation of brands in prime shopping centers across the country. This collaboration, in addition to opening physical stores, is also enabling brands to rapidly build and scale an omnichannel retail presence.”

Simon takes part in Singles Day e-commerce extravaganza
This initiative follows another recent omnichannel partnership for Simon The mall operator and the Shop Premium Outlets (SPO) e-commerce platform it runs jointly with Rue Gilt Groupe recently participated in Chinese retail giant Alibaba Group’s “Singles Day” global shopping festival. A series of livestream events allowed shoppers in China to virtually shop SPO’s online inventory. They were also able to purchase directly from participating stores located within Simon’s Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.

To further celebrate the Singles Day event, Simon set up a pop-up studio in its Woodbury Common Premium Outlets property to host another series of livestream events. Shoppers in China could access the livestreams through Taobao Live, Alibaba Group’s livestream commerce channel. During each event, they were able to virtually browse and purchase SPO's inventory from participating brands and have the items shipped directly to them.

Brands that have store locations at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets also had the opportunity to participate in the joint program.

Today, Simon operates or has an ownership interest in more than 250 premier retail destinations around the world. Leap supports omnichannel operations of 60 direct-to-consumer brands across nearly 100 stores.

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