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Holiday sales up 4.08% at Prime Retail outlets

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Stores in outlet centers owned by Baltimore-based Prime Retail Inc. saw their sales rise 4.08 percent during the holiday season, the company said yesterday.

Customer traffic at the company's 50 outlet centers nationwide also increased -- by 4.77 percent -- for the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Prime Retail, the world's largest developer, owner and manager of outlet centers, based its results on a preliminary sampling of sales reported by about 500 merchants in all categories.

"Several factors, including a growing consumer emphasis on value, the great variety and large selection of brand-name merchandise available and an additional shopping day, helped achieve these increases," said William H. Carpenter Jr., president and chief operating officer for the real estate investment trust.

Unseasonably warm weather in many parts of the country early in the season also helped, he said, because most of the outlet centers are open-air, "village-style" and comfortable for outdoor shopping.

As of Sept. 30, Prime Retail's portfolio was about 96 percent leased.

Pub Date: 1/01/99

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