Tanger Outlets enjoying uptick in shoppers during holiday season

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Tanger Outlets Tilton received a boost in shopping thanks in part to recent snowfall and cold weather. (David Carkhuff/Laconia Daily Sun)


TILTON — Tanger Outlets Tilton is reporting an uptick in traffic for this holiday season.

Already, the center, at 120 Laconia Road, is 100 percent leased with 53 different tenants, and the ongoing expansion of a Five Guys and a drive-through-equipped Starbucks out front means the likelihood of "the Tanger shuffle" happening in 2017, said Eric Proulx, general manager of Tanger Outlets Tilton. This is when a vacancy occurs and the outlet center can bring in fresh business to fill the empty storefront.

Tanger Outlet Centers, which continues to attract more than 185 million shoppers annually, according to the company's third-quarter report, tends to enjoy near-perfect occupancy.

"Lease lines are at capacity from all angles except for in the front where our parking lot is," Proulx said.

As of Sept. 30, the company's consolidated portfolio was 97.4 percent occupied, compared to 97.2 percent at Sept. 30, 2015, and 96.9 percent as of June 30, 2016, the company reported.

"It really comes down to the relationships," Proulx said, explaining this high occupancy rate.

"Hopefully, in the new year, we'll be able to make another announcement about a future tenant that's coming into our center," Proulx said, which he anticipated will generate "excitement" and "emotional impact."

This month, anecdotal evidence suggests a surge in shopping as Christmas and Hanukkah approach.

"The parking lot has been full on many occasions; with the recent snowstorm, it's bringing people into the holiday spirit," Proulx said. "In years past when it's been warmer, warmer climate, and there's no snow, people are like, 'Oh, I've got plenty of time.' Now, that there's a decent amount of snow on the ground, and I think it's forecast to be zero degrees on Friday, people are realizing it's close to winter, and the holidays are how many days away?"

That means a steady current of customers into not only the stores but into the outlet center office to buy gift cards and handle other pre-holiday business.

Tanger's shopper services office has been busy, Proulx confirmed. "Our traffic to our office has been up, typically. Traditionally, if office traffic is up, the shopping center traffic would reflect that as well."

Incredibly, only one full weekend of shopping remains for this holiday season.

"The pressure is on. There's only one full weekend left for shopping, and that's this weekend," Proulx said. "There are plenty of shoppers out there, and their hands are full of bags, in multiple stores that they're shopping at one time."

TangerStyle, the outlet center's three-times-a-year magazine, entered its 10th year, with themed shopping tips and trends — disco glam, pastels, lace, luxe layers and pleats all warrant a look in the issue (https://hlgroup.sharefile.com/d-sa0fe849a0444321b).

The magazine also taps into the customer's desire to save money for gift giving.

"That is gaining popularity as well because again it really encompasses additional discounts, and not only are consumers looking for deep discounts, they're looking for additional discounts," Proulx said.

Tanger customers plan prior to shopping, and they glean coupons from the website, http://www.tangeroutlet.com, Proulx said.

"From our brands and our standpoint, they have very loyal shoppers or consumers who typically shop multi-channel," meaning in the physical stores and on the internet.

One advantage that may explain the bustle at the outlet center: "Traditional bricks and mortar, that's where you get the experience," Proulx said, describing the tangible experience of shopping in person.

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. is based in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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Cody Barney with ESCFederal cleaning service wipes down a ride at Tanger Outlets Tilton on Dec. 13. (David Carkhuff/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Saint Vincent Childrens Gifts

Louise Randall and Sue Page, volunteers with the Saint Vincent de Paul Children's Foundation, assemble several hundred packages of gifts to be dispersed to children in need of basic necessities. The packages contain items such as clothing, underwear, personal hygiene items, diapers and wipes. The program serves about 600 children each year. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

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LHS Dean Kozens honored

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Craig Kozens, dean of students, athletic director and football coach at Laconia High School, left, was presented the 29th annual Debra Bieniarz Award for service to children and youth by Mayor Ed Engler when the City Council met this week. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)

Debra Bieniarz Award presented to educator


LACONIA — "I love what I do," said Craig Kozens, who added that he wakes up every morning looking forward to going to school "Where I can be around kids and be a kid."

Kozens, the Dean of Students, Athletic Director and Football Coach at Laconia High School, was honored for his contributions to enriching and enhancing the lives of the city's children and youth as the 29th recipient of the Debra Bieniarz Award, named for the late police officer who set the standard for others to follow.

In nominating Kozens for the award, David Bartlett, principal of the high school, said that for that past 15 years "I have watched Craig exceed the requirements of any educator that I know" and described him as "one of the kindest, giving, and most empathic individuals I know."

Kozens, a former students and now a colleague, said "meets students where they are, and not where he expects them to be." From his "favorite teacher," he said "I not only learned abut math in his class, but I learned about life because of his engagement with me as a student."

Kozens devotion to students reaches beyond the classroom and playing field, Bartlett noted, to "supporting students and families in crisis, whether they have experienced a loss in their family, find themselves homeless, or without transportation." He has fed and clothed students from his own pocket, taken them to visit college campuses on his own dime and one night even fetched gasoline for a carload of students standing on empty. Nor does his engagement end with graduation. He stays in touch with students, ever ready to lend a hand with issues arising with college, employment or life itself.

By 6:30 a.m. Kozens is at school, where he works into the evening and during football season into the night. Beyond the school day he works to raise funds to support students who would be unable to participate in athletics with financial assistance and teaches his athletes the value of contributing to their community by having them volunteer to work the Timberman Triathlon.

"Craid embodies Sachem P.R.I.D.E.," Barlett wrote, which stands for Personal Responsibility, Respect, Integrity, Determination and Empathy, all lifelong qualities and characteristics that Laconia High School strives to teach our students."

In presenting the award Mayor Ed Engler read from a proclamation that closed "the Lakes Region is extremely fortunate to have the winner of this year's award as a member of our community. He has made a tremendous positive impact on countless young people and is dedicated to making a difference in their lives."

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Kozens participated the winter carnival. (Courtesy photo)

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Craig Kozens was duct-taped to a wall by Laconia High School students for a fundraiser, all part of his dedication to the students that was noted with the Debra Beniarz Award. (Courtesy photo)

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