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Simon Property Lures Shoppers With Online Outlet Platform

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In an effort to lure shoppers, and boost both online and retail-store business of participating retailers, Simon Property Group Inc. SPG recently launched an online outlet shopping platform.

This latest platform, the fifth in the series, is called Shop Premium Outlets. It will help the “highly engaged” Premium Outlets customer base shop round-the-clock for preferred fashion, luxury and lifestyle brands, and avail up to 65% off every day.

Right now, ShopPremiumOutlets.com is in the early stages of beta-testing with the company’s VIP Shopper Club. The beta-testing of the platform is being performed with just under 2,000 brands and more than 300,000 products. However, per management, there has been substantial interest from the brands and retailers currently in Premium Outlets. As such, the company is expected to unveil it for the general public later this spring.

This launch of online retail platform, weaved with an omni-channel strategy, will likely be accretive to Simon Property’s long-term growth. Particularly, Premium Outlets enjoys strong footfall and generates billions of dollars of sales each year. Therefore, the well-thought platform gives the advantage of using its pre-established customer base and avoids the initial customer acquisition issues on the e-commerce platform.

Notably, rapid shift toward e-retailing, store closures and retailer bankruptcies have long prevailed as pressing concerns for retail landlords, including Simon Property, Kimco Realty Corp. KIM, Macerich Company MAC and Taubman Centers, Inc. TCO.

Simon Property is navigating through the retail apocalypse by actively restructuring its portfolio, aiming at premium acquisitions and transformative redevelopments. Over the past years, the company has been investing billions to transform its properties focused on creating value and drive footfall at its properties. The transformational plans included addition of hotels, restaurants, residences and luxury stores.

Further, the company is undertaking strategic measures to help online retailers fortify their physical presence, besides taking steps to support omni-channel strategy. In addition to the above, Simon Property is exploring mixed-use development option which has gained immense popularity in recent years as it helps catch the attention of people who prefer to live, work and play in the same area. Nonetheless, implementation of such measures requires a decent upfront cost and therefore, may limit any remarkable growth in its near-term profit margins.

Simon Property currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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