The first and only Outlet Mall in the state of Arkansas is set to open in the summer of 2015 in Little Rock. A 30 acre plot of land at the Gateway Town Center has been purchased by New England Development(NED) and they have already began to prepare the land for construction. Currently they are clearing trees, preparing drainage lines, and setting up utilities as well. Actual building construction is set to begin in August of 2014. CDI Contractors LLC of Little Rock have been hired to oversee the construction process.
The Outlets at Little Rock will house around 75 stores, and bring in 1,000 new jobs into the area. New England Development has yet to mention any specific store that will be in these outlets, but future customers can expect a vast amount of options. The outlets will also have a food court and a variety of sit down and fast casual dining establishments. New England Development hopes that the mall will be more of a destination, where people can spend a good amount of time at, rather then running in and out.
Due to its location, the development group is very optimistic about the success of the new outlet mall. There is currently a Bass Pro Shop in the Gateway Town Center which draws a large amount of customers to the shopping center. The mall will also be positioned at the intersection of two highways, I-30 and I-430, and NED feels that this location will pull in great foot traffic for the outlets.
Although the Outlets at Little Rock are the first and only outlets in Arkansas, it reflects a new trend in the retail industry. Many companies are moving towards an emphasis on outlets, because it allows them to provide a product for all customers at multiple price levels.