Tanger Outlets Riverhead is among Tanger's most productive centers.

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc., seeing traffic pick up and rent collections normalizing, reported first-quarter net income of $3.9 million, or $0.04 a common share, compared to a net loss of $27.4 million, or $0.30 a share, in the prior-year period.

The prior-year period was impacted by a $45.7 million, or $0.47 a share, non-cash impairment charge.

Total revenues, including rent, management, leasing and other services, came to $100.7 million for the first quarter ended March 31, compared to $111.6 million in the year-ago period.

“We are pleased that traffic to our domestic open-air centers reached 97 percent of 2019 levels during the first quarter of 2021, and exceeded 2019 levels in April. These strong results clearly reflect the attraction of our centers, their dominant market locations and the value proposition that we offer to both our retailer partners and shoppers,” Stephen Yalof, president and chief executive officer, said Wednesday.

Tanger operates 36 upscale outdoor outlet centers, which many people would consider safer to shop in during the pandemic, compared to enclosed malls. Most of Tanger’s centers are near vacation destinations and in areas where families have second homes, including Riverhead, N.Y., near the Hamptons, and Daytona Beach, Fla.

Yalof joined Tanger in April 2020 as president and chief operating officer after serving as president of Simon Premium Outlets, and became Tanger’s CEO on Jan. 1. On his agenda: bringing a greater digital dimension to the business with more products available to see online; offering categories not sold before at Tanger centers, and extending the “dwell time” of shoppers so they purchase more. He’s hired consultants to layer on an “elevated” level of outlets, including digitally native brands as well as more food and beverage, at certain Tanger properties, and shifted to a culture of local leasing and local marketing, from the prior centralized approach.

Recently, Lululemon, Vineyard Vines and Tory Burch started as pop-ups and graduated to long-term leases. Gap Inc. brands; PVH Corp. — owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger; Ascena Retail Group; Under Armour Inc.; American Eagle Outfitters Inc.; Nike Inc.; Tapestry Inc. — owner of Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman; Carter’s; Hanesbrands Inc., and Capri Holdings Ltd. — owner of Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo and Versace — are Tanger’s top 10 tenants.

As reported last week, Fillogic, a New York City-based start-up logistics platform, has opened a “tech-enabled micro distribution hub” at Tanger’s Deer Park outlet center in New York. Additional Fillogic hubs could soon be seen in other Tanger centers around the country. Fillogic offers same-day delivery for local residents, ship from store fulfillment, storing and shipping of direct-to-consumer orders, international shipping and aggregating shipments in trucks to save time and money for retailers.

“As we further evolve Tanger’s core strategies — the leasing, operations and marketing of our outlet centers — we are empowering our team as we rebuild occupancy, drive leasing and curate our tenant mix to maximize shopper frequency and dwell time and attract new shoppers to Tanger outlet centers,” Yalof said. “We are also accelerating our digital transformation efforts to meet the customer where they are, and our outlets continue to demonstrate their importance as a vital component of an omnichannel strategy.

“Beyond all these exciting initiatives, we remain committed to maintaining a strong balance sheet. During the first quarter of 2021, we opportunistically generated nearly $130 million in net proceeds from the issuance of equity, and year to date, we have reduced debt by $175 million, creating additional financial flexibility. As we move forward, we are confident that executing these operational and growth initiatives will create long-term shareholder value,” he added.

In other first-quarter results, funds from operations available to common shareholders were $0.38 per share, or $38.2 million, compared to $0.50 per share, or $48.7 million, for the prior year period.

Core funds from operations available to common shareholders were $0.40 per share, or $40.6 million, compared to $0.50 per share, or $48.7 million, for the prior-year period. Core FFO for the first quarter of 2021 exclude general and administrative expense of $2.4 million, or $0.02 per share, for compensation costs related to a voluntary retirement plan and other executive severance costs, which the company does not consider indicative of its ongoing operating performance.

The consolidated portfolio occupancy rate was 91.7 percent as of March 31, compared to 91.9 percent as of  Dec. 31 and 94.3 percent as of on March 31, 2020, the company said.

Same center net operating income for the consolidated portfolio decreased to $65 million from $70.7 million in the year-ago period.

Tanger recaptured about 61,000 square feet within its consolidated portfolio during the first quarter due to bankruptcies and other restructurings by retailers, compared to about 332,000 square feet during the first quarter of 2020.

The company is estimating that for the year ending Dec. 31, 2021, net income per diluted share will range from $0.13 to $0.23, and funds from operations per diluted share will range from $1.31 to $1.41. Core funds from operations will range from $1.47 to $1.57 per share.