Iowa’s First and Oldest Outlet Mall Adds A Variety of New Tenants
Heading into another crucial holiday shopping season, a longtime staple for Eastern Iowa family shoppers is again making changes, and they are banking on customers seeing them as a positive.
According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Outlets Williamsburg is 31 years old, making it Iowa's first and oldest outlet mall. It's now known as Outlets and Marketplace Williamsburg and over the years it has been home to factory outlet stores like Columbia, Old Navy, Nike, and more. In a statement published by Corridor Business Journal (CBJ), Outlets & Marketplace Williamsburg director Kristie Wetjen noted:
We are listening to the modern consumer and focused on expanding our offerings to more than just the traditional outlet retail. While we will continue to have our shopper’s favorite name brands, we are focused on adding more small businesses, food and beverage tenants, and service-based industries at the center to better serve our immediate community.
With the continued demise of several indoor, enclosed malls in Iowa and across the country, outlet centers like the former Tanger Outlet Center are attempting to adapt to stay relevant. Officials there say the outlet center is moving into the future with a "broader approach to recruiting tenants". One of the biggest additions is Cove Equipment, a major farm, and home implement dealer. Cove appears to be based in Iowa with locations in Moscow and Columbus City. According to CBJ, a spokesperson for the mall's parent company, Outlook Resource Group said:
Outlets & Marketplace Williamsburg recognizes the need to diversify its merchandise mix to better serve our changing consumer needs. We have been working on expanding our tenant categories since we acquired the center and now is the right time to rebrand and more effectively communicate who we are.
Outlets & Marketplace Williamsburg also recently added a daycare center over the summer, which the Gazette says provides daycare space for up to 88 children.
Also new to Williamsburg are 10 locally owned boutiques, featuring women’s fashion, gifts, home decor, and antiques as well as a pair of restaurants: Bryant’s Chill and Grill and Pino’s Sicilian Pizzeria.