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1981 Stanley K. Tanger founds Stanley K. Tanger & Co. in Greensboro, N.C. The company opens its first strip center with brand-name factory outlet stores in Burlington, N.C.
This story first appeared in the December 19, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
1984 Tanger sells Burlington Manufacturers Outlet Center, which had expanded to 300,000 square feet and was the forerunner of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers’ current chain of centers. Tanger introduces one of Polo’s first outlet stores in North Conway, N.H.
1986 Construction starts on a center in Kittery, Maine. Liz Claiborne will build its first factory direct store there. The Kittery center is the oldest in Tanger’s portfolio.
• Steven B. Tanger, Stanley Tanger’s son, joins the company as executive vice president.
1987 Tanger opens a center in Martinsburg, W.V., drawing shoppers from Baltimore and Washington, and a second center in the resort area of North Conway, N.H.
1988 Three centers open: Boaz, Ala.; Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Manchester, Vt. L.L. Bean opens its first outlet store in the North Conway center.
1989 Tanger opens a second center in Kittery, Maine, plus a new mall in Bourne, Mass., near Cape Cod. Tanger enters the Atlanta market with a center in Commerce, Ga.
1990 A center opens in West Branch, Mich., designed to attract locals as well as travelers headed to northern Michigan resort areas.
1991 Tanger expands to the Midwest with a center in Williamsburg, Iowa, along the busy I-80 corridor.
1992 Outlet malls open in Casa Grande, Ariz., between Phoenix and Tucson; Stroud, Okla., and North Branch, Minn., 40 miles north of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
1993 Tanger goes public and becomes the first outlet developer to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SKT) as a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust, or REIT. The move opens new avenues of financing for the outlet center industry.
• The company opens outlet centers in Gonzales, La., near New Orleans, and San Marcos, Tex., attracting shoppers from San Antonio and Austin.
1994 Tanger acquires a center in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country, in Lancaster. Five Tanger Centers open that year including the tourist destination of Branson, Mo.; Terrell, Tex., near Dallas; Locust Grove, Ga., near Atlanta; Seymour, Ind., between Indianapolis and Louisville, and Riverhead, N.Y., on eastern Long Island.
• Tanger becomes the first outlet center developer to build more than one million square feet in any one year.
1995 Steve Tanger is elected president and chief operating officer. His father, Stanley, remains chairman and chief executive officer.
• Centers open in Barstow, Calif., between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and Commerce, Ga.
• Tanger is recognized by the American Cancer Society with the Excalibur Award for the second straight year, recognizing companies that contribute more than $100,000 to fight cancer.
1996 Tanger Outlet Centers is listed in the “Top 50 Public Companies” in North Carolina.
• Tanger launches the “Relax. It’s Guaranteed” customer service program nationwide, promising its customers the best price on products sold at the centers, offering a cash refund of the difference on the spot, no questions asked.
• Tanger completes expansions in Locust Grove, Ga.; Gonzales, La.; Branson, Mo.; Williamsburg, Iowa, and San Marcos and Terrell, Tex. It also breaks ground on its second location in Riverhead, N.Y. Once completed in 1997, the Riverhead center will be the largest in Tanger’s portfolio and one of the largest open-air brand-name factory outlet centers in the world.
1997 Tanger acquires an outlet center in Nags Head on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, as well as the Shoppes on the Parkway in Blowing Rock, N.C., and the Five Oaks center in Sevierville, Tenn., which it expands later that year.
1998 Expansions are completed in Commerce, Ga.; Sevierville, Tenn., and Phases III & IV in Riverhead, N.Y., where Tanger dedicates a “Tiger Salamander Preserve” on the center’s property to help protect the endangered reptile. The center will ultimately have 180 stores.
• Tanger acquires an outlet center in Fort Myers, Fla., at the entrance to Sanibel Island.
1999 Billionaire investor Warren Buffett purchases a 5.3 percent ownership in Tanger Factory Outlet Centers.
• The mall in Sevierville, Tenn., completes an expansion adding 23 more outlets.
2000 Tanger’s successful Breast Cancer Awareness program, which benefits the American Cancer Society, exceeds $1 million in total funds raised since the program’s inception in 1994.
• Tanger closes the year with 29 centers in 20 states and more than 68 million customers.
2001 The San Marcos, Tex., center expands to nearly 500,000 square feet and adds 85 stores.
• Tanger breaks ground on a 400,000-square-foot center in Myrtle Beach, S.C. — the nation’s second-most-popular summer tourist destination behind Orlando. It is its first center in the state and will feature some 60 stores when it opens in July 2002.
2002 The Tanger portfolio expands to 30 centers in 21 states with acquisition of the Tanger Outlet Center at Kensington Valley in Howell, Mich. The 325,000-square-foot center is located along I-96 and attracts shoppers from Detroit and Lansing.
• Tanger is named exclusive manager of a 326,000-square-foot outlet center in Vero Beach, Fla. Renamed the Tanger Outlet Center at Vero Beach, the new center is part of Tanger’s strategy to include third-party management.
2003 Stanley and Steven Tanger ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, commemorating Tanger’s 10th anniversary of trading on the exchange.
• After just one year, the Myrtle Beach center adds a Phase II expansion with 22 stores. The center draws more than 4 million shoppers in its first year.
• The Five Oaks center in Sevierville, Tenn., adds 10 stores, bringing its total to 107, making it Tennessee’s largest, authentic outlet shopping center.
• Tanger acquires nine outlet centers in eight states, adding 3.3 million square feet to Tanger’s portfolio. The centers are in Rehoboth Beach, Del.; Foley, Ala.; Myrtle Beach; Park City, Utah; Hilton Head, S.C.; Tilton, N.H.; Lincoln City, Ore.; Tuscola, Ill., and Westbrook, Conn.
2004 Tanger unveils expansion plans for Pittsburgh; Deer Park on Long Island; Charleston, S.C., and in the Wisconsin Dells.
• Tanger Myrtle Beach marks its Phase III expansion with 20 new stores.
2005 The American Cancer Society honors Stanley K. Tanger for his commitment to fighting breast cancer. Tanger Outlets’ national Breast Cancer Awareness campaign has raised more than $3.5 million.
• The Foley, Ala., Gulf Coast center, which draws 5 million shoppers a year, breaks ground on a 20,000-square-foot expansion project. Additions include Ann Taylor, Tommy Hilfiger, Anne Klein and Skechers.
• The Locust Grove mall completes a 46,400-square-foot, $6 million expansion, bringing shoppers such stores as Polo Ralph Lauren, Nautica, Skechers, Strasburg Children, Kirklands, Stride Rite shoes, The Children’s Place and Rack Room Shoes.
• Tanger breaks ground for a 264,000-square-foot center in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., and for a 352,000-square-foot mall in North Charleston, S.C. This is the first outlet shopping center in the Charleston area and Tanger’s fifth outlet center in South Carolina.
• Tanger’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign surpasses $4 million in funds raised. The Stanley K. Tanger Breast Cancer Fund is established, and the Pink Card is introduced as a major method of raising funds for the cause.
2006 At its 25th anniversary, Tanger Outlets stands at 35 centers in 23 states.
• Centers in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., and North Charleston, S.C. open.
2007 Tanger breaks ground on its second center on Long Island, in Deer Park. With the feel of an Old World marketplace, the 800,000-square-foot Tanger Outlets at the Arches in Deer Park opens in summer 2008 with upscale stores including Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth, restaurants, cafés, a 16-screen Regal Cinemas and an IMAX theater.
• Tanger surpasses the $5 million mark in donations to the American Cancer Society and a dozen other breast cancer-related programs and organizations.
2008 Tanger reveals a development in Irving, Tex., featuring 90 stores in 380,000 square feet. It is the first project announced as part of the Texas Stadium redevelopment area.
• More than 200,000 shoppers attend the Labor Day weekend opening of a center in Washington, Pa., about 20 minutes south of Pittsburgh, with 75 stores.
• Tanger raises more than $1 million during its 2008 Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.
2009 Steve Tanger assumes the role of president and ceo. Stanley K. Tanger retires but remains chairman of the board.
• The company completes a $23 million renovation project on its Highway 501 mall in Myrtle Beach. In Foley, Ala., it completes a 24-month construction project that adds new architectural details, a 42,000-square-foot expansion area and a 40,000-square-foot Family Fun Park with a carousel, interactive water feature and a children’s play area.
• Steven Tanger is elected to the board of trustees of the International Council of Shopping Centers.
• Construction starts on the center in Mebane, N.C. The $60 million project, the largest commercial retail development in North Carolina that year, creates 1,100 construction and retail jobs for the region and will feature 80 stores, serving the major metropolitan areas of Raleigh-Durham, Chapel Hill and Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem. It opens in time for the 2010 holiday shopping season.
2010 Tanger Outlets at the Arches in Deer Park, N.Y., is certified as a Leadership in Energy Efficient Design, or LEED, Silver Core and Shell project by the U.S. Green Building Council.
• Tanger partners with Discovery Communications, TLC and its TV show “What Not to Wear,” an outlet industry first. During the fall 2010 season, Tanger is exclusively featured in an episode of the show filmed at the Deer Park center.
• Tanger launches a discount savings program for AARP members.
• The firm completes a public offering of $300 million of 6.125 percent senior notes due in 2020 in an underwritten public offering. The net proceeds from the offering, after deducting the underwriting discount and offering expenses, are approximately $295.5 million.
• The company launches a mobile site, giving shoppers access to key information while shopping at Tanger centers, along with notifications of special offers and discounts from the brands at the centers.
• Stanley K. Tanger dies.
• The $65 million mall in Mebane, N.C., opens with 80 stores in 317,000 square feet.
2011 Canadian firm RioCan and Tanger sign a letter of intent for a $1 billion joint venture, with the potential to build 10 to 15 Tanger centers in Canada, over a five- to seven-year period.
• The $43 million Tanger Hilton Head I Center reopens with an upscale collection of more than 40 stores including Brooks Bros. Factory Store, Donna Karan, Kenneth Cole, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, and a Tommy Hilfiger Company Store.
2012 Tanger opens in the Houston market, in Texas City, Tex., with a fund-raiser for the University of Texas Medical Branch.
• Tanger Outlets, Westgate, in Glendale, Ariz., opens, with funds raised for Banner Health Pediatrics.
• The company reveals plans to build, manage and own a 312,000-square-foot mall at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Conn., on the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation, in partnership with Gordon Group Holdings.
Source: Tanger Factory Outlet Centers and WWD Archives