Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tanger Outlets general manager offers tips

Aimee Braswell, general manager of the Tanger Outlets center in Texas City -  Photo by Jennifer Reynolds
When outlet center giants Simon Premium Outlets and Tanger Outlets teamed to build the Tanger Outlets center in Texas City, they needed someone with extensive retail experience to manage the center with more than 80 stores.

They found that in Ohio-native Aimee Braswell who has 25 years’ retail experience.

A month after the outlet center opened, the crowds are still solid, and Braswell is enjoying the community’s response.

She took the time to tell readers more about herself and offer shoppers some tips for holiday shopping.

Q: How long have you worked in retail?

A: Including working in a store as an associate and now in property management, 25 years.

Q: What was your first job in retail?

A: I was a bagger at Kroger when I was 16.

Q: Before Tanger what other retail management jobs and where?

A: Before I started in property management, I worked for Kroger, Kohl’s and GUESS, all in Ohio, as a sales associate, then as an assistant store manager. I moved to Texas/San Antonio in 1995 and worked for the GAP for almost three years before being recruited to work as the marketing director for a shopping center in San Antonio. I have worked for Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties, Inc. as a marketing manager/director in both San Antonio and Sugar Land.

Q: What drew you to the retail industry?

A: My mom and I used to sew together a lot, specifically while I was in 4-H. She loved fashion, sewing ... and we would spend hours shopping for the latest trends before deciding what my projects would look like each year. We definitely bonded through the years working on those projects and I grew to love fashion and shopping as much as she does. Whenever she visits, at least one entire day is spent on our favorite hobby — spending time together and shopping! Technology has been a wonderful friend for us as well in case we have a fashion dilemma we can Skype, send text photos and look online to give each other opinions and fashion updates!

Q: What drew you to the job at Tanger?

A: Tanger is a growing and developing company and the opportunity to open a new center, get back in to the shopping center industry and work in the outlet arena really appealed to me. I appreciate the growth in the area, what bringing jobs and revenue means to the community and Texas City. Tanger is proving to be a great company to work for.

Q: What’s the biggest difference between shopping at an outlet or factory store vs. a mall or traditional store?

A: The biggest difference working in the outlet industry is the opportunity to provide shoppers the name brands they want with trendy, current merchandise, direct from the manufacturer, and still offer them discounts of up to 30 to 70 percent off every day.

Q: How has the retail industry changed in the time you’ve been working?

A: I think the biggest change is the way we talk to our shoppers. When I started working in retail, we used a lot of traditional media and signage throughout the center. Now, you still need to use those means of communication but also be up to date on social media and how quickly it is evolving. It is also imperative to create experiences for shoppers. There are so many shopping choices now with the creation of the Internet; trying to stay one step ahead is critical.

Q: What’s your favorite items to shop for?

A: It depends on my mood. I love shoes and handbags and definitely shopping for my kids.

Q: What are you two best holiday shopping tips?

A: 1. Download the Tanger App (for your smartphone) to get the most recent savings updates and alerts on your Smartphone. 2. Always come to (Tanger Outlets) Shopper Services in the Food Court to get your savings passes and coupon books. It’s definitely worth it to use the coupons and save more at your favorite stores.

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