The outlet industry is still red hot and Saks Inc. knows it.

This story first appeared in the September 20, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

On Wednesday, Saks said it will open seven Off 5th stores next year, on top of the 13 openings that were slated for this year. There are currently 70 Off 5th outlets. Several are being remodeled as well.

“The seven new stores are located in key communities and will be important additions to the company,” said Robert Wallstrom, president of Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th.

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The new outlets will be in various sites across the country from Potomac Mills in Woodbridge, Va., to Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach, Fla., and The Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa, Wis. Off 5th outlets range from 25,000 to 28,000 square feet and are designed according to the brand’s “luxury-in-a-loft” format introduced in 2008. It’s among the more upscale environments in the outlet sector, featuring a loftlike setting, bright and uncluttered selling floors and fixtures on casters to flex assortments. Off 5th outlets sell women’s wear, men’s, children’s, fine jewelry, beauty, shoes, handbags and sunglasses. One Off 5th associate noted that generally discounts start at 25 percent off regular prices but get higher depending on the day a consumer shops, and the category. She also noted that buy-one, get-one-free deals are being offered in men’s.

With traditional mall growth at a virtual standstill, outlet centers continue to proliferate, have high occupancy rates and generate high profits for developers, retailers and brands. Simon Property Group and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers are among the most active at rolling out outlet centers. Nordstrom has also been aggressive rolling out its Rack outlets.

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