Of the centers opened last year, all were at least 95 percent occupied as of the end of December. This high rate of tenancy, consistent with the North America industry average, is reflected in the company's overall financials, and contributed to its 35th straight year of 95 percent or more occupancy.
"We're going carefully around the country trying to see markets that are underserved," Tanger said.
The company is also identifying properties where, due to their age or changing area demographics, it can divest certain centers. In 2015, Tanger sold six of its smaller centers, which had an average age of 24 years, including a divestiture of its ownership in a joint venture partnership involving a Wisconsin property.
The sales generated $166.3 million for the company, and brought down the average age of its portfolio. (Its remaining locations averaged 16 years.) Having younger properties in its portfolio means Tanger needs to spend less money revamping older properties, which sometimes might not be worth the additional cash infusion.
Already in 2016, after receiving a call from a local entrepreneur, the company also completed the sale of a small center in Fort Myers, Florida, for $26 million.
"We're very comfortable with the fleet that we have," Tanger said, adding that the company has no properties on the market for sale. He did note, however, that as seen with the Fort Myers property, local entrepreneurs sometimes inquire about specific properties.
In all, Tanger operates 42 centers across 21 states. But while outlets are the sole focus of Tanger's portfolio, it isn't the only developer eyeing the space. According to Value Retail News, 24 outlet centers are scheduled to open in the United States this year.