Daytona’s Tanger Outlets settles in despite competition

DAYTONA BEACH — When Tanger Outlets opened here in November 2016, a week before Black Friday, the mall’s grand opening drew thousands of shoppers, filling its vast parking lots to overflowing.

Local shopper Gwen Tongkam told The News-Journal that day, “This is just the best thing that ever happened to Daytona Beach.”

A year and a half later, the outlet mall on the east side of Interstate 95, just south of LPGA Boulevard, continues to draw its fair share of shoppers, but it is facing increasing competition, not just from online retailers such as Amazon, but also new brick-and-mortar options for area shoppers.

Those local competitors include One Daytona, the new 300,000-square-foot entertainment/retail/dining complex across the street from Daytona International Speedway, that continues to add tenants, and Volusia Mall, the area’s largest shopping center at more than 1 million square feet which is set to soon add several new street-front restaurants and shops along West International Speedway Boulevard.

And directly across the street from Tanger Outlets, a new shopping center is taking shape: the 400,000-square-foot Tomoka Town Center “power lifestyle” retail center that’s set to open this fall with a collection of larger format stores, including Academy Sports + Outdoors, Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Five Below and DSW as well as a Dave & Busters family fun center and a handful of eateries.

Sarah Rasheid, the new assistant general manager at Tanger Outlets, said she welcomes the competition because it helps “keep us fresh” and gives local residents even more reasons to do their shopping and eating out close to home.

Rasheid noted that the 350,000-square-foot Tanger Outlets mall has added several more tenants since its grand opening, including a Kate Spade handbag store and a Lids hat, fan gear and sports apparel store, both of which opened earlier this year.

One of the few criticisms local residents made when Tanger Outlets opened was its lack of dining options. The number of eateries has since increased to seven, said Rasheid, noting that it is among the most of any center the North Carolina-based company operates.

The chief draw for Tanger, she said, is its collection of “prestigious brands we have including Under Armour, Vera Bradley, Vineyard Vines and Michael Kors, just to name a few.”

“Tanger exposed the community to brands that people used to have to drive an hour or more to get to,” she said.

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