Shopping Centers Today

APR 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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They are striking a chord among af- fluent and younger shoppers alike, all of whom are drawn to the treasure-hunt appeal of stores that stock Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses, Michael Kors sweaters and similar high-end merchan- dise and sell it for a song. "It's a different experience every week," said Scott Tuhy, a vice president and senior credit officer at Moody's Investors Service. he oFF-prIce reTaIl SecTor is on fire. Nordstrom rack, ross Stores, TJX and other chains that sell high-profile brands and designer goods for 20 to 60 percent be- low department and specialty store prices are outperforming much of the retail sector; they are growing faster than competitors and gaining market share. The sector's popularity surged during the recession and has remained hot now that the economy has rebounded. embold- ened by a nimble real estate and merchandising strategy and by growing clout with vendors, these off-price chains are on an expan- sion binge stateside and in inter- national markets too. consumers who turned to these value retailers during the financial crisis have remained loyal shoppers, largely at the expense of department stores. Total aggregate sales for the five largest off- price retailers in the U.S. increased by 6 percent during 2013, versus a 1 percent increase for national apparel sales over- all, according to market research firm NpD Group. "With the expansion of different re- tailers and brands [into this sector], in- cluding department stores like Saks and Neiman Marcus, higher-income shop- pers have joined the off-price party," said Wendy liebmann, ceo of WSl Strate- gic retail. "They're smart shoppers, too." The merchandise at these stores is a combination of excess inventory from wholesalers, department and specialty stores, plus a growing assortment of T off-price, on point off-price apparel chains are in one of the fastest-growing sectors By Barbara Thau r e T a i l i n g T o d a y 36 S C T / a p r i l 2 0 1 5 D o w n T o w n , n . y . P h o t o : R I C h A R D B . L E V I N E / N E w s C o m

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