By  on June 7, 2007

NEW YORK — Oscar de la Renta will open his first outlet store in the next few weeks at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.

Construction is under way and the 2,000-square-foot space in Central Valley, N.Y., is expected to open its doors at the end of this month or early next month, in time for Fourth of July shoppers, according to Alex Bolen, chief executive officer of Oscar de la Renta.

The company is not walking away from its high-end, full-priced signatures stores. Bolen said he was eyeing property in London for a seventh full-priced signature store, but a lease has not been signed.

In fact, the designer's existing stores spurred the search for an outlet store. "With six stores in the U.S., inevitably, there are goods left over in a season. We hope to do a few things our competitors do and perhaps use some excess fabric to make up products for the outlet store," Bolen said. "With only one or two stores, we didn't have the need for an outlet store."

Noting that Woodbury Common is the number-one outlet center in the country, Bolen said the new store would be near locations of Roberto Cavalli, Tory Burch and a number of other brands. Aside from attracting Manhattanites, the Colonial-style shopping complex is popular with Westchester County and Connecticut shoppers, which creates an interesting customer base, Bolen said. In addition, there is an ongoing marketing push in Japan aimed at Japanese tourists in New York, many of whom take buses from the Port Authority to Woodbury Common, he said.

The Oscar de la Renta outlet will house only the designer's signature clothing and accessories. Elements of the store's design will be reminiscent of the company's freestanding stores. "If we're successful, it will look as though we are all part of the same family," Bolen said.

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