The Outlet Marketing Alliance (OMA) and Shop America Alliance LLC (SAA) have announced plans to launch the inaugural USA Outlet Shopping Festival, a national event designed to promote outlet shopping throughout the USA. The Festival will run for 4 days, Friday through Monday, beginning in May 24-27, 2013, U.S. Memorial Day weekend. Organizers are planning to develop this into an annual event showcasing outlet centers and top name brand outlet retailers.
The Festival objectives are to generate awareness of the appeal of outlet shopping and to produce incremental sales both during the event and thereafter. As a kick-off to the summer tourism season, the USA Outlet Shopping Festival will also promote outlet shopping as a popular tourism activity.
Shopping and dining are the top tourism activities in America, as tracked by the U.S. Department of Commerce/Office of Travel & Tourism Industries and U.S. Travel Association. Outlet Centers are currently the fastest growing segment of US shopping center industry according to data tracked by Value Retail News (VRN) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). OutletBound.com, the leading outlet center web site and sponsor of the Festival, features 211 US outlet shopping centers located in 42 states, many of which will participate in the Festival.
During the USA Outlet Shopping Festival, domestic and international shoppers and travelers worldwide will be invited to visit outlet centers and shop outlet retailers to enjoy special savings and promotions. Shoppers spending $150 or more at these outlets on their MasterCard® cards during the Festival will receive tote bags at participating locations along with special discount offers.
Tie-ins with travel sponsors including hotels, airlines, rental car companies, tour operators, bus companies and media will be developed to help promote the Festival. State and local tourism offices including California and Las Vegas will also provide marketing support of the Festival. International Tax Free shopping programs in locations including Texas and Louisiana will be promoted, along with tax-free clothes shopping in locations including Minnesota, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
Outlet retailers and developers are invited to participate in and co-market the USA Outlet Shopping Festival. At the retail and center level, the Festival will operate similar to Black Friday/Midnight Madness events where individual outlet retailers and outlet centers will develop and promote their own sales and special events under the Festival umbrella marketing campaign provided by OMA.
The official USA Outlet Shopping Festival web site, www.OutletFestival.com is the portal for all festival information, packages, sponsors and special offers. Participating retailers and outlet centers will utilize consistent official Festival graphics in their email, online, social media and all other event marketing. Shop America Tours is planning to develop and market special Outlet Festival packages with major tour operators. Rosemary McCormick, President of Shop America Alliance, stated: “We previewed the USA Outlet Shopping Festival at the recent International Pow Wow, the top travel trade event in the USA, and the tour operators were very excited. We look forward to building a successful annual event.”
Outlet Marketing Alliance (OMA) is a group of leading outlet industry retailers and developers focused on creating enhanced marketing and sales opportunities. OMA meetings are held several times annually in NYC. Lisa Wagner, founder of the Outlet Marketing Alliance, said “We are pleased to partner with Shop America Alliance and announce our plans for the USA Outlet Shopping Festival. This festival will serve to underscore the popularity of outlet shopping and the importance of tourism to all our partners.” For OMA information contact Lavinia at LSidawy@ewbdevelopment.com
Shop America Alliance LLC (SAA) is the travel trade organization representing hundreds of the premier shopping tourism destinations, retailers, shopping centers, museum stores and outlets in North America. Founded in 1998 and focused on tourism, Shop America Alliance co-produces the annual ONE Travel Conference, SASI-ONE Awards and The Cultural Traveler guide, publishes Shop America Magazine and markets more than 175 Shop America Tours in 40 cities. For more information ShopAmericaTours@aol.com or call 707-224-3795 or visit OutletFestival.com.
USA Outlet Shopping Festival 2013 Planning Committee
•AWE Talisman—Fashion Outlets Niagara Falls, Fashion Outlets Chicago, Fashion Outlets Las Vegas and Fashion Outlets Santa Fe-- Ann Ackerman
•Craig Realty Group: Citadel Outlets, Outlets at Cabazon, Woodburn Company Stores, Outlets at Anthem, Outlets of Colorado and more-- Peggy Ziglin
•Creative Marketing Solutions-- Anita Boeker
•Horizon Group Properties – Gina Slechta
•OutletBound.com – Randy Marks
•Outlet Marketing Alliance and EWB Development representing Vero Beach Outlets, Casino Outlets at Tunica, Northwest Outlets and more-- Lisa Wagner
•The Outlet Shops of Grand River-- Christine Szalay
•Puma – Kendra Spencer
•Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th -- Amber Cacali
•Shop America Alliance-- Rosemary McCormick
•TaxFree Shopping Texas-- Carolyn Petty
•Tommy Hilfiger-- Michele Frankshun