North Texans who consider bargain shopping a sport have a sparkling new playing field.
The long-awaited Tanger Outlets Fort Worth is scheduled to open Friday morning on the city’s far northern edge, just south of Texas Motor Speedway. The outlet mall features more than 70 stores representing some of the best-known brands of shoes, shirts, children’s clothing, jewelry, makeup and many other retail items.
There are stores specializing in Nike footwear, Fossil watches, Michael Kors handbags and Cole Haan shoes. There’s also a Gap Factory Store, a GUESS Factory Store, an H&M, a Levi’s Outlet — and, for furniture aficionados, a Restoration Hardware Outlet.
For children, there are clothing stores such as Oshkosh B’Gosh, and almost next door are Carter’s Babies and Kids, The Children’s Place and a Toys R Us Outlet.
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A Perfumania store features a window display with bottles of Viva La Juicy.
On Thursday afternoon, as invited guests were being given a sneak peek at the stores, about a half dozen employees could be seen undergoing training inside a Bare + Beauty Bare Minerals makeup shop.
At a time when other outlet malls such as those in Hillsboro and Gainesville have fallen on hard times, as many customers have switched to online shopping, leaders at Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. continue to bank on the old-fashioned mall experience — with a few modern twists.
“The appeal is, people still like brick-and-mortar stores. They like the experience of shopping, and they like to find bargain prices on high-end items,” said Melissa Garcia, general manager of the Fort Worth outlet center.
The Fort Worth location is the company’s 44th outlet mall. The Greensboro, N.C.-based Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc., says it attracts 188 million shoppers a year to its other 43 locations.
The Fort Worth mall features many of the same stores that can be found at Grand Prairie Premium Outlets.
Some unique features of the Fort Worth location:
▪ The mall is open-air, but with port-style rooftops over many of the stores to protect pedestrians from rain.
▪ There is no food court, and most of the eateries that are scattered in the mall feature snack items, such as Great American Cookies. It’s clear the emphasis is on keeping people shopping, rather than sitting in a table-service restaurant.
▪ Texas-style artwork is featured at many pedestrian intersections of the mall, including a giant fire pit.
But the emphasis is on shopping.
Most stores feature items that are already 25 to 70 percent lower than prices in a more traditional retail setting. And many of the stores accept Tanger Outlets coupons for additional savings.
Also, shoppers are encouraged to join the Tanger Club, which for a one-time $10 fee provides access to an area where a significant other who doesn’t wish to shop can lounge and watch television.
“We’ve got something for everyone,” said Briana, the #TangerFashionista who blogs for the company and visited the Fort Worth mall Thursday. “You can spend an entire day here and get something for everyone on your list, and you will spend a lot less than at traditional retail.”
The stores are expected to employ about 900 full- and part-time workers.
The shopping center was built at the southwest corner of Interstate 35W and Texas 114 just south of Texas Motor Speedway and Buc-ees.
Construction took about a year. The company bought 44 acres in Champions Circle, a project of Fort Worth-based Fine Line Diversified Development, which is controlled by billionaire financier Ed Bass.
Chief Executive Steven Tanger told the Star-Telegram in a 2016 interview that he expected shoppers to come to the new Fort Worth mall from 30 to 50 miles away.
“We’re fortunate in that there’s a million people in Fort Worth to shop with us,” he said.
Champions Circle is a 279-acre commercial mixed-use development at the southwest corner of I-35W and Texas 114. A Buc-ee’s Travel Center is also at the site.
Tanger estimated that the construction cost of the mall was $80 million to $100 million.
The Fort Worth City Council approved an incentive to lure Tanger Outlets amounting to 85 percent of the city’s 1-cent sales tax for 10 years, capped at $25 million.
This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.