Located 25 minutes by car from Elon, the Tanger Outlets in Mebane are a destination for students looking to buy a new outfit or grab a bite to eat.
Now in its 10th year of business, Jeff Johnson, manager of the outlets, said the safe, friendly environment sets it apart from other shopping centers.
“They laugh at me because I say ‘mall’ is a four-letter word, because it has a connotation to it,” Johnson said. “You drop your kids off at the mall and then pick them up later, so it’s more of a hang-out. People who come out here leave with more bags in their hands than the typical shopper that goes to the mall.”
The center features a variety of popular brands, including Tori Burch, Kate Spade and Nike.
Johnson said Vineyard Vines opened in response to the influx of students from the Northeast attending Elon.
“One of the things I made sure of is on our billboards, where we can put about three brands, we always put Vineyard Vines,” Johnson said. “They said that increased their business dramatically.”
Sophomore Kaitlyn Hoffman has been working at Tommy Hilfiger in the Tanger Outlets since last year.
“[Tanger] offers various stores for everyone’s taste, and we offer student discounts for those who go to Elon and other colleges, so it’s a good way to save money,” Hoffman said.
Johnson hopes to continue improving every aspect of the customer experience, online and off. He recommends downloading the Tanger app, and joining the TangerClub to receive $25 cashback on every birthday.
“To me, it’s about trying to up the experience for every shopper,” Johnson said, “because if we do that, then the rest will take care of itself.”