WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Even under gray skies, shoppers still make their way out to The Palm Beach Outlets.
General manager Jim Roberts said the Outlets has had over a million visitors since the opening.
“It’s tourist season, but also what’s great is how the local market has supported us, over and over again,” said Roberts. “I see the same customers coming back to try different shops.”
Local businesses are benefiting from the Outlets as well.
Like FLA Cleaners, which is in a small plaza across the street.
Owner Roberto Rodriguez said, “We saw a little bit of an increase with the business and a lot of traffic which is good for everybody.”
Israel Johnson, of Bay Bay’s Chicken and Waffles, opened up a restaurant a block away from the shops.
Johnson admits the restaurant has gotten a lot of exposure because of the Outlets.
“A lot of individuals are coming from foreign places or outside of the city and when they come, they go on Yelp and these different avenues, to look up restaurants and they find Bay Bay’s,” said Johnson.
He researched opening his second location when plans for the Outlets were finally approved.
Since opening, Johnson’s business has increased by 15% and now he plans to add additional room by buying the vacant space next door.
Jim Robert said they’re expecting to make a bigger impact when the second phase of the Palm Beach Outlets opens at the end of this year.
“Based on the success of the Outlet itself, now with some of these large big box stores coming and Whole Foods, it’s going to be amazing to see all the people coming,” said Roberts.