REAL ESTATE

Express debuts outlet store format; will open 30 by year-end

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Specialty fashion retailer Express has entered the booming outlet mall sector, opening its first-ever outlet store, at Tanger Outlets National Harbor center in Washington, D.C. The retailer plans to open approximately 30 additional factory outlet locations throughout the United States in 2014, targeting such top markets as Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York and other top markets.

"We are particularly excited about our outlet initiative, which represents a new format for Express," said Michael Weiss, chairman and CEO of Express. "I’m very optimistic about this new part of our business and the associated growth potential."

Express’ outlet stores carry both women’s and men’s apparel and fashion accessories. The retailer said the new format supports its growth strategy of becoming more accessible to the twenty-something, fashion-conscious, yet price-sensitive customer.

"Factory outlets are an important growth initiative for Express, offering us a unique opportunity to acquire new customers by offering great fashion and quality at an amazing value," said Andrew Buck, VP and general manager of outlets for Express.

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Amazon Fire TV’s voice search gets new partners

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon this week announced that Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime are joining VEVO in integrating their full catalogs into Fire TV’s unified voice search.

“We’re excited and energized by the momentum we’re seeing with Fire TV,” said Dave Limp, VP, Amazon Devices. “Customers are telling us they love it, developers are building for it, and we’re working hard to expand existing features and build new ones. We’re thrilled to have Hulu Plus, Crackle, and SHOWTIME integrating their full selection of movies and TV shows into Fire TV’s unified voice search.”

The team is already working hard to make Fire TV even better, according to the company. Voice search, for example, is expanding. Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime will be integrating voice search for their full catalogs starting this summer. There’s also what the company describes as “a big pipeline of great developers” working to make their services and games available for Fire TV. New selection is coming from developers like Telltale Games, Halfbrick, Pixowl, Disney Interactive, Minority Media, Paradox Interactive, Gaiam, AllRecipes and Twitch.

New features are also already in the works for Fire TV, including:

  • New Prime browse will make it even easier to discover movies and TV shows that are included in Prime Instant Video.
  • Amazon FreeTime and Amazon MP3 integration coming as part of a free, over-the-air software update.
  • More Games coming soon. In addition to the over one hundred games available on Fire TV, you will be able to play touch-enabled games with the upcoming Fire TV app for your phone or tablet.

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Express begins assault on outlets

BY CSA STAFF

Mall-based specialty retailer Express opened its first outlet store at a Tanger outlet mall near Washington, D.C., and has plans for 30 more locations this year.

The operator of 630 predominantly mall-based stores had previously shunned outlet locations, but now views the popular venues as a growth opportunity.

"We are particularly excited about our outlet initiative which represents a new format for Express," said Michael Weiss, the retailer’s chairman and CEO. "I’m very optimistic about this new part of our business and the associated growth potential."

The factory outlet concept supports the retailer’s growth strategy of becoming more accessible to the twenty-something, fashion-conscious, yet price-sensitive customer, according to the company. Recognizing the opportunity to capitalize on the ever-growing outlet business and capture a new customer base, Express plans to open outlet stores this year in markets such as Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas and New York.

"Factory outlets are an important growth initiative for Express, offering us a unique opportunity to acquire new customers by offering great fashion and quality at an amazing value," said Andrew Buck, vp and general manager of outlets for Express. "We are thrilled to present the Express Factory Outlet as an accessible shopping experience for young fashion-forward women and men."

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