With all the excitement about the new Outlets of Mississippi, we wondered if other local retailers are worried it could hurt their business.
The holiday spirit is everywhere at the Outlets at Vicksburg. They have just as many Christmas trees as signs for shopping promotions, but with the Outlets of Mississippi opening just a short drive east on I-20, could the Grinch steal Christmas from the folks in Vicksburg?
"We will feel the impact initially," says Margaret Gilmer, General Manager of the Outlets at Vicksburg.
Gilmer opened the outlets in 1995. She recognizes the Outlets of Mississippi are much bigger than the Outlets at Vicksburg.
"Bigger isn't always better. A lot of bigger centers have experienced a lot of vacancies through the economy, where we have pretty much remained 100% leased," says Gilmer. "We feel like we've been proactive in our marketing efforts for 15 years, so we do feel that we will weather the opening well. We think people are going to go there when it's new, but we do feel that our shoppers will come back to us."
The Outlets at Vicksburg also has Billy's, a restaurant that over the past 12 years has turned into a destination.
"Sometimes people come on site just to come to Billy's," says Mani Chanprasith, Director of Marketing for the Outlets at Vicksburg. "And while they're here, they may shop as well. So Billy's, it's an important part of our center."
"Seems like it's turned into that," says Billy Lieberman, who owns Billy's. "People from Atlanta to Dallas stop here on the way back and forth and seem to like what we do."
The folks at the Outlets at Vicksburg say Billy's will keep serving quality Italian food, the stores will stay open, and the shoppers will keep coming.
The Outlets at Vicksburg open at 11:00 p.m. Thanksgiving night. They'll stay open all night and all day on Black Friday.
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