The Twin Cities Premium Outlet mall in Eagan will be one year old this summer, but Albertville Premium Outlets celebrated its 15th anniversary last month.

When the Eagan outlet project was announced with an additional 100 outlet stores (Albertville also has 100 stores), some wondered if the Twin Cities could support 200 stores in two outlet malls. Not to worry, said George John, associate dean at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. "Outlet or discount malls are still not over-retailed, even though just about every other part of retail is," he said.

Each mall draws from a deep well of customers in Minnesota and beyond--Eagan from Mall of America and the southeast part of the metro. Albertville pulls from the northwest metro with nearly one-third of its customers coming from Canada.

Only about 50 retailers overlap at each outlet mall said Sara Smith, director of marketing and business development at Albertville Premium Outlets. The newest store to open in Albertville is Talbots, which opened last month. Under Armour just completed a major expansion. At 12,500 square feet, the Albertville location now offers the largest kids' selection at any Under Armour outlet in the country, Smith said. In August, the center will add an American Eagle store.

Both outlet centers are owned by Simon Property Group, but the two compete for exclusive stores to attract shoppers. Landing Coach several years ago was a big draw for Albertville. "We're always looking to land the next Coach or Lululemon Athletica," Smith said.


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