Cen­ter marks decade in Lim­er­ick

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Donna Rovins drovins@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mer­cBiz on Twit­ter

LIM­ER­ICK » It has been 10 years since the Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets opened in Lim­er­ick, bring­ing 150 re­tail­ers to the area. To mark the oc­ca­sion, the Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets held a rib­bon-cut­ting in con­junc­tion with the Spring-Ford Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Since open­ing on Nov. 8, 2007, the out­let cen­ter, owned by Si­mon Prop­erty Group, head­quar­tered in In­di­anapo­lis, Ind., has be­come one of the top shop­ping des­ti­na­tions in the area.

The Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets em­ploys an es­ti­mated 1,500 full-time em­ploy­ees year round. That num­ber in­creases at this time of year, as most of the cen­ter’s re­tail­ers hire sea­sonal staff for the hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son, ac­cord­ing to Kate John­son, area di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment.

The cen­ter de­buted with 120 re­tail­ers in 2007, but a 2008 ex­pan­sion took that num­ber to 150. John­son added that of the orig­i­nal 120 re­tail­ers; more than half re­main, in­clud­ing Coach, Ann Tay­lor Fac­tory Store and Un­der Ar­mour.

“Be­cause we’re a des­ti­na­tion shop­ping cen­ter, we ben­e­fit from both re­turn­ing and new cus­tomers, which makes us an at­trac­tive lo­ca­tion for re­tail­ers,” John­son added.

Lim­er­ick Town­ship Man­ager Dan Kerr said be­cause the cen­ter is a des­ti­na­tion point, it pro­vides a boost to the lo­cal econ­omy and to the other busi­nesses in the area.

“Peo­ple come for the day and visit restau­rants and other at­trac­tions in the area. From a stand­point of bring­ing peo­ple to this area they have been a won­der­ful amenity for Limer-

ick,” he said.

“We’ve got the best shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence in the coun­try right here in Mont­gomery County, and the Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets are a big con­trib­u­tor to that, and to Mont­gomery County’s eco­nomic im­pact,” said Ed­ward Har­ris, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer for the Val­ley Forge Tourism & Con­ven­tion Board.

John­son said the cen­ter sup­ports lo­cal en­trepreneurs by giv­ing them a “space to thrive.”

“One of our most suc­cess­ful re­tail­ers is the Beef Jerky Out­let, a fran­chise run by a lo­cal husband and wife duo who have re­ceived an in­cred­i­ble re­sponse dur­ing their first year here at the cen­ter,” she said.

The store, owned by Ben and Ellen Non­nemacher of Ex­eter, opened in Oc­to­ber 2016 and car­ries more than 200 va­ri­eties of jerky made from sev­eral types of meat.

Ac­cord­ing to John­son, many in the com­mu­nity also view the cen­ter as a com­mu­nity hub and gath­er­ing place. To that end, she added that the Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets of­fer free and fam­ily-friendly events. Com­ing up on Dec. 1 is the Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets’ an­nual Tree Light­ing.

“One com­mu­nity ini­tia­tive that we look for­ward to ev­ery year is More Than Pink, Si­mon’s na­tional part­ner­ship with Su­san G. Komen,” she said, adding that the cen­ter raised more than $35,000 for the Su­san G. Komen or­ga­ni­za­tion this year. “On a lo­cal level, we reach out to the Philadel­phia SGK chap­ter to iden­tify a de­serv­ing sur­vivor

and gift them with a shop­ping spree — on us.”

In ad­di­tion, Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets works an­nu­ally with the Si­mon

Youth Foun­da­tion to award a schol­ar­ship to a lo­cal, de­serv­ing stu­dent. And this win­ter, the cen­ter will run a coat drive, with do­na­tions

kick­ing off at the an­nual tree light­ing.

While there are no plans for ad­di­tional ex­pan­sion of the cen­ter at this time, John­son said the cen­ter’s owner, Si­mon, con­tin­ues to rein­vest in the prop­erty. She said a high-tech me­dia lounge was added this year with ad­di­tional seat­ing ar­eas. Cen­ter-wide WiFi, and a fire pit are in the works for the com­ing year.

John­son said the leas­ing team’s abil­ity to un­cover the brands cus­tomers are in­ter­ested in has also con­trib­uted to the out­let cen­ter’s suc­cess over the past decade.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, from an in­dus­try per­spec­tive, we’ve seen an in­creased de­mand for out­let and value shop­ping. Peo­ple still want their fa­vorite name brands but at a sig­nif­i­cant value,” John­son added.

Si­mon owns both the King of Prus­sia Mall and Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets, as well as sev­eral other shop­ping prop­er­ties across the re­gion. John­son said the Premium Out­lets pro­vide an ex­pe­ri­ence that “is unique enough that it com­ple­ments not com­petes with King of Prus­sia’s of­fer­ings.”

The cen­ter re­cently an­nounced the up­com­ing open­ings of Tory Burch, the re­tailer’s first out­let shop in the Philadel­phia area, and Calvin Klein Un­der­wear, both ex­pected to open in time for Black Fri­day.

Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets are lo­cated off Route 422 at 18 W. Light­cap Road, Lim­er­ick. For more v is itwww. premium out­lets. com/philadel­phia.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets cel­e­brated the cen­ter’s 10th an­niver­sary Nov. 8 in con­junc­tion with the Spring-Ford Cham­ber of Com­merce. Shown here left to right are: Erin Co­hen, Ambler Sav­ings Bank; Kate John­son, area di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing at Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets; Louise Tulio, WSFS Bank; Dan White, Ameriprise Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Inc.; Corry Sza­kal, gen­eral man­ager at Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets; Sean Mey­ers, DS Pools; Thomas DiGre­go­rio, guest ser­vices man­ager at Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets; and Suzette Siebert, Kelly In­sur­ance.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets opened 10-years ago this month — bring­ing 150 re­tail­ers to the re­gion. In this file photo, crowds wel­come the hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son on Black Fri­day last year.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets is mark­ing its 10th an­niver­sary in Lim­er­ick. Shown here is a view of the park­ing lot — full of ve­hi­cles dur­ing the hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Philadel­phia Premium Out­lets is mark­ing its 10th an­niver­sary in Lim­er­ick. Ac­cord­ing to the cen­ter’s area di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing, the cen­ter sup­ports lo­cal en­trepreneurs by giv­ing them a “space to thrive.” One ex­am­ple is the Beef Jerky Out­let, a fran­chise run by husband and wife Ben and Ellen Non­nemacher of Ex­eter. The Beef Jerky out­let opened in Oc­to­ber 2016 and car­ries more than 200 va­ri­eties of jerky. In this file photo, Ben Non­nemacher, cen­ter, helps cus­tomers.

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