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Tanger, RioCan team up on factory outlets

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (SKT-N) will expand into Canada in a $1 billion development deal with RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust. (REI.UN-T)

Tanger sets up stores in outlet malls so retailers such as Aeropostale, Adidas, Eddie Bauer and the Gap can offer discount merchandise. The publicly traded REIT has 33 outlet shopping centres across the United States, with 2,100 stores and 375 different brands being offered for sale.

The outlet malls – up to 15 of them of them in the next seven years – will be co-owned by RioCan and Tanger, with each company holding a 50-percent stake.

The stores will be set up in “larger urban markets and tourist areas across Canada.”

“In response to the increasing demand by U.S. tenants to expand into Canada, RioCan is pleased to partner with Tanger to develop Canada's first portfolio of U.S. style outlet centres,” said Edward Sonshine, chief executive officer of RioCan. “This venture will fill a void in the Canadian retail marketplace and will provide consumers with a distinctive outlet shopping experience closer to home.”

January has seen several U.S. retailers announce a move to Canada, as they look to expand beyond the recession-ravaged U.S. market. Canadian retailers generated $578 of sales per square foot in malls – excluding department-store anchor tenants – compared with $398 US among U.S. mall retailers, according to September figures from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Discount retailer Target Corp. will spend $1.8 billion to acquire the leases on 200 Zellers stores, while Express Inc., the sixth-largest American fashion chain, plans to open its first six stores in Canada this year and a total of 50 in five years.

Zumiez Inc., the hot skateboard apparel retailer that considered bidding for Canadian rival West 49 last year, also plans to open in Canada this year.

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