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As billions have been invested into Atlantic City’s revitalization in the past decade, one success story is The Atlantic City Outlets, better known as The Walk. Since opening in August 2003, the outdoor shopping mall has expanded to cover several square blocks of retail space.
Developed by the Cordish Company, a third generation, family owned organization from Baltimore, The Walk is atypical of most shopping outlets. According to Kim Butler, The Walk’s general manager and marketing director, most shopping centers target consumers within a 60 mile radius. However, the uniqueness of Atlantic City and its resort amenities draw visitors from hundreds of miles.
Cordish has received national excellence awards for several distinguished retail/entertainment and mixed used projects in Baltimore, Houston, Charleston, Salt Lake City and Landover, Maryland.
The Walk’s 54 national brand outlet stores, entertainment venues and new restaurants and clubs connect the Atlantic City Convention Center to the Boardwalk casinos along Michigan Avenue. NJ Transit’s Atlantic City train stop is located within the Convention Center, only steps away.
Although many shops have overlapping inventories for a variety of customers, visitors may find specialty stores in the following categories:
ACCESSORIES: Stores include Claire’s, Coach Factory Store, Fossil, Kenneth Cole Outlet Store and Wilson Leather Outlet.
BOOKS: Borders Outlet
CHILDREN’S SPECIALTY STORES: Carter’s, Osh Kosh
DINING/ENTERTAINMENT: AC Diner, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill Bar, Auntie Anne’s, Cavo Crepe Caf, Ruby Tuesday, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Starbucks, Stewart’s Root Beer, Subway and The 40/40 Club.
FASHION APPAREL: Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Atlantic City Harley Davidson, Banana Republic Factory Store, Bare Feet Shoes, Bass, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Calvin Klein,
Dress Barn/Dress Barn Woman, Ecko Unlimited, Gap Outlet Store, Geoffrey Beene, Guess Factory Store, H M, Izod, J. Jill, Jockey, Kenneth Cole Outlet Store, London Fog, Nautica, PacSun, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Souvenir Outlet, Tommy Hilfiger Outlet Store and Van Heusen.
HOME DECOR: Yankee Candle Company
JEWELRY: Ultra Diamond
SHOES: Bare Feet Shoes, Bass, Ecco, Factory Brand Shoes, Nine West, Reebok and Timberland.
SPECIALTY SHOPS: KB Toy Outlet, McMenamin’s Newstand, Perfumania, Sunglass Gallery and Vitamin World.
The Walk welcomes organizations and tour groups. All visitors that are part of an arranged group receive the Atlantic City Outlets “Preferred Customer” Discount Flyer, which provides more than $2,000 in discounts, offers and savings. Holders of an AAA membership are also eligible for a preferred customer discount.
The Walk holds many community and charitable events for the region. The NJ ICON Concert Series competition takes place every Saturday afternoon through September, from 1 to 3pm. The winner of the vocal contest will be coached for a future national recording audition.
Group Axe Capoeira, a Brazilian martial arts and dance company, entertains with a free martial arts demonstration every Friday through Monday from 6 to 8pm on the plaza in front of the Gap Outlet. The group combines Afro Brazilian martial arts and dance.
Next month, following the popular Atlantic City Air Show on Aug. 23, there will be live entertainment at The Walk from popular casino band Don’t Call Me Francis starting at 5pm.
Many stores at The Walk also participate in the First Wednesday promotional program in Atlantic City (See p. 74).
The Walk is readying an expansion of another 30 to 40 outlets. Demolition has been completed, and construction on Phase II, which is underway. By this time next year, all stores are expected to open.
“We are thrilled with the success of the stores at The Walk,” says Butler. “It has exceeded everyone’s expectations. By having retail options all over town,
it gives people yet another reason to visit and shop in Atlantic City.”