New U.S. chain stores won’t keep Ottawans from heading south: Expert

With a slew of American retailers set to open by the end of 2015, Tanger Outlets is the first to build from the ground up in Bytown.

Officials are putting shovels in the ground on May 15 at their site across from Scotiabank Place near Hwy. 417.

That’s an “excellent location,” said retail analyst Barry Nabatian.

With plenty of parking and tremendous exposure, it’s sure to attract foot traffic before or after hockey games and other events. New restaurants will be packed.

“They’ll be very, very successful,” he said.

That’s exactly what Tanger’s communications director, Quentin Pell, wants to hear.

“We think that Ottawa is a really dynamic market due to the businesses that are located there and the influx of tourism,” said Pell.

Tanger likes to set up close to “a major freeway with high traffic count,” he said. A recent opening in Glendale, AZ is also near a few stadiums.

“It creates synergy in the market and you have this influx of new people that are exposed to the brand,” Pell said.

Pell said Tanger is investing $115 million into the community.

But will bringing outlets to Ottawa deter shoppers from heading south? Probably not, said Nabatian.

Canadians visiting the U.S. for longer than 24 hours can bring back $200 (CDN) worth of goods, following changes made by the federal government last summer increasing the duty free allowance. If they’re gone longer than 48 hours, the limit spikes to $800.

That increase wipes out any gains made by retailers here, said Nabatian.

“Canadians, as a whole, are shopping more in the U.S.,” he said.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

@ottawasunkroche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/05/13/new-us-chain-stores-wont-keep-ottawans-from-heading-south-expert

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