Stand Tall, Shop Small for OKC: The OKC Outlets

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

by Marcus Elwell

 

With an impressive and diverse array of name brands, 394,000 square feet of shopping space and proximity to I-40 there is no secret why the OKC Outlets attracts shoppers not just from all over Oklahoma but from bordering states such as Texas and Kansas.

“I think the average person would be very surprised at how much out-of-state shopping the OKC Outlets attracts to our community,” said Tammy Fate, senior manager of retail development for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “People coming in from outside of Oklahoma City and spending their money here is important because the sales tax it generates helps us fund those critical city services and quality of life initiatives that have transformed OKC.”   

The OKC Outlets are the only outlet center in the state and one of the only true outlet centers in the whole region.

While maybe no industry was hit harder by the pandemic than retail, the OKC Outlets has seen a quick rebound, partly because they are an open-aired shopping center.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 'STAND TALL, SHOP SMALL FOR OKC' CAMPAIGN AND GET SHAREABLE SOCIAL MEDIA ASSETS

“We’ve seen a lot of research that has said consumers feel a lot more comfortable shopping in an open-air environment coming out of COVID and we’ve seen that,” said Jeannette Smith, general manager of the OKC Outlets. “Our traffic has surpassed our expectations as we’ve started to come out of the pandemic and our sales are supporting that as well.”

The OKC Outlets is adding to its plethora of national brands as Adidas recently announced they would be opening a store there sometime in August.

This will mark the first Adidas store in Oklahoma and one of the few, if not only, new stores Adidas is opening nationwide this year. Adidas will also have one of the biggest footprints at the center with more than 10,600 square feet of space.

“We are very excited to open the first to the market Adidas in the center,” said Smith “This is a brand that our customers have been asking for, and we believe they will make an excellent addition to the center." 

Already home to Under Armor, Nike Factory Store, The North Face, Asics, Columbia Factory Store, Converse and Reebok Outlet Store, the OKC Outlets is quickly becoming a can’t-miss destination for anyone looking for athletic gear or shoes.

While the OKC Outlets is known as the home for national brands offering great deals, the presence of local retail is quickly becoming an important part of the outlet’s growth and success.

“We have had a lot of interest from start-ups and local retailers. Our strategy is to have a variety of national, regional and local retailers,” said Smith.  “Local retail is a great fit for us because it diversifies our offerings and adds to the overall shopping experience for our customers." 

Fate said the OKC Outlet’s ability to draw shoppers from all over the region makes the presence of local retail all that more important.

“When someone comes from Texas or Kansas to the OKC Outlets they are coming for that name-brand experience,” said Fate. “But they also want to take a piece of Oklahoma City back with them. They want items they can only find here. Seeing the OKC Outlets balance attracting the biggest names in retail with giving opportunities to some amazing local retail startups has been great to see.”

One way the OKC Outlets has helped establish a local retail presence in their center is by providing short-term space for pop-up opportunities.

Read the full story on VeloCityOKC.com