Premium Outlets Grand Opening!

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Image Credit: PA Conference for Women

Charlotte Premium Outlets plans to open its doors to the public tomorrow. The brand new outlet center is located at 5404 New Fashion Way at the corner of Steele Creek & Dixie River Roads at Exit 4 off of I-485 in southwest Charlotte, NC. The outlet center, which broke ground on 09.20.2013, will house around 100 retail stores, totaling nearly 400,000 square feet, on approximately 40 acres of land. About 900 employees will operate the outlet center, most of whom were hired during a job fair in May. The complex is expected to generate approximately $140 million in the first year of operation.

The center is owned & operated jointly by Simon (the owner of Premium Outlets) & Tanger Outlets, two of the largest outlet center & mall companies in the country. The dueling companies had originally planned to construct separate outlet centers, but eventually teamed up to build the Charlotte Premium Outlet Center to lessen competition.

With the new outlet center comes great growth for the surrounding area. Stores, shops, markets, & restaurants are popping up all around the new outlet center. For example: Publix, a local grocery giant, will open a new store in Steele Creek in late 2014. Bojangles will open their 601st restaurant on Steele Creek Rd tomorrow, coinciding with the grand opening of the outlet center. Nearby RiverGate Shopping Center is planning a major expansion this fall. Home Goods, Ulta, TCBY, Gander Mountain, & Pier 1 Imports are just a few new retailers coming to RiverGate. This will be Gander Mountain’s first store in Charlotte. In addition, a median is being installed on Steele Creek Rd to help ease future congestion.

Grand Opening Weekend will run from July 31 to August 3. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 9:30am on Thursday. Special events include promotional sales, live music, entertainment, giveaways, & a visit by Bethenny Frankel. Prizes will be awarded throughout the weekend when the center is open, & until the end of August, customers can enter to win a shopping spree. Meanwhile, Bethenny Frankel will meet, greet, autograph, instruct, mingle, & shop at the VIP Shopper Club Lounge, which guests can gain access to by signing up for the VIP program, on Saturday, August 2nd from 12:45-3:30pm.

Until the opening of the Charlotte Premium Outlets, the nearest outlet centers were the Gaffney Premium Outlets in South Carolina’s Upcountry & the Tanger Outlets in the mountain town of Blowing Rock, NC. Tanger is headquartered in nearby Greensboro, NC.

In the coming years, the Premium Outlets may grow. When Charlotte City Council made plans for the outlet center in 2013, they allowed for possible expansion. Future plans may include a 120-room hotel & new outlet stores on the 125,000 undeveloped square feet.

For more information, please click here.

(Sources: Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Business Journal, Tanger Outlets, Premium Outlet Centers, WCNC)

The Buck Stops Here: Dollar Tree Buys Family Dollar

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Yesterday, July 28th, Dollar Tree agreed to buy rival Family Dollar for nearly $8.5 billion. Once the deal closes, Dollar Tree will have over 13,000 stores in the US & Canada, making it the nation’s largest discount retailer. The buyout will also put Dollar Tree ahead of competitor Dollar General in total sales. Family Dollar’s biggest shareholder, activist investor Carl Icahn, stands to make well over $200 million, but the deal doesn’t sit well with him. He said in a statement that there were a handful of other buyers, and he hopes that a new buyer will surface before the deal goes through. He named Dollar General as one of these buyers. The dollar store deal comes just a few weeks after talk of a Family Dollar/Dollar General merger.

Icahn announced in June that he bought an almost 10% stake in Family Dollar. He urged Charlotte based Family Dollar to place themselves up for sale & threatened to replace the board, but the retailer stuck to its original plan of closing stores, lowering prices, & adjusting the products sold. The company planned on moving forward solo, rather than sell out to a competitor like Dollar General, despite sales decreases in recent months. But all that failed when Dollar Tree swooped in and bought them out.

The deal is a big step forward in the fight against Walmart. The big box retailer is directly competing with dollar stores by opening smaller stores with lower prices in areas that have dollar store competitors.

The entire process began back in April, and it might not be over yet. Both Dollar Tree & Dollar General will compete fiercely for the consumers’ dollar over the next few months.

(Sources: WBT, ABC, FOX)


In other news, get a slice of cheesecake for half price, starting tomorrow, at The Cheesecake Factory as they celebrate National Cheesecake Day. The promotion ends on July 31st. More details here.

Doggy Deals: National Hot Dog Day

Image Credit: Game Changing Films

Today is National Hot Dog Day! In honor of this meaty holiday, a few businesses are giving away free or cheap hot dogs. Here’s a short list of where you can pick up some dogs on July 23rd.

  • Sonic is selling American & Chili Cheese Dogs for just $1, today only.
  • Kangaroo Express convenience stores will give a free hot dog to military members who show their ID & to customers who show the Kangaroo Express Mobile App.
  • 7-Eleven’s Quarter Pound Big Bite Hot Dog is going for just a dollar, today only. And don’t forget about 7-Eleven’s mobile app promotion. More details here.
  • Philly Pretzel Factory is giving pretzel dogs away for just $1, today only. More details here.

  • And to beat the heat, Arby’s is offering a free Jamocha Milkshake to customers who present this coupon.

For more information on consumer holidays, click here.