TULARE, Calif. Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Horizon Outlet Center in Tulare, California is reporting positive results in sales and traffic for the 1998 Holiday Season. For November, per square foot same-store sales increased 13.1%. For the last twelve months (ending November 1998), per square foot same-store sales increased 7.8%. Although sales figures for December will not be available until February, preliminary sales results from several key merchants indicate comparable sales increases as high as 35%. Traffic at the outlet center increased 34.4% in November and 18.5% in December. Overall, traffic increased 28.7% in 1998. During the fourth quarter, the outlet center received an unexpected boost in its marketing budget from the center's new owner, Horizon Group Properties, Inc. The additional funds were spent launching a full-scale Holiday promotional campaign targeting the Central and South Valley areas including Fresno and Bakersfield. "Once we took over ownership of the center, we promptly implemented an aggressive marketing plan that focused on promoting awareness of the center and the name brand outlet stores," said Susan M. Crusoe, Senior Vice President, Marketing of Horizon Group Properties. "Once the campaign began, we immediately noticed significant traffic and sales increases." The momentum began the day after Thanksgiving when Horizon Outlet Center opened at 7 a.m. offering a Beanie Baby gift-with-purchase promotion to early shoppers who braved the crowds to jump-start their holiday shopping. The first 100 customers spending $200 or more received a free Beanie Baby and all 100 "Beanies" were gone by 10 a.m. In commenting on the advertising and promotions efforts, Group Marketing Manager Lynn Learned, said, "Response to the advertising was phenomenal. We believe that promoting our name brand tenant mix, which includes Polo Ralph Lauren and the GAP Outlet, and the Beanie Baby promotion, helped draw new shoppers to the center. Shoppers appreciated the added perks which included free shopping bags and discount coupons." Horizon Outlet Center is located in Tulare, California just 40 miles south of Fresno and 45 miles north of Bakersfield. The 139,390 square foot outlet center features over 32 outlet stores, including Polo Ralph Lauren, GAP Outlet, Jones NY, Mikasa, Reebok and Bass Apparel Co. Store. Horizon Group Properties (Nasdaq: HGPI), owner of Horizon Outlet Center, is based in Chicago, Illinois, and has 13 operating factory outlet centers and one power center in 11 states totaling more than 2.9 million square feet.
SOURCE Horizon Group Properties