November 18, 2020
In this session of The Personal Mastery Podcast, we speak with Stephen Yalof who is a retail guru, well known in the industry for working with Gap, Inc. and Ralph Lauren. Stephen discusses what the transformation of retail due to Covid-19 will look like. Essentially how retailers will shift to create a seamless experience between Brick and Mortar alongside an online experience. Whether you have window shopped virtually before heading to the stores, the retail industry will work to provide consumers an entire lifestyle conveniently located in one environment.
Stephen Yalof is the CEO of Tanger Outlets, he joined the company in April 2020 as President and Chief Operating Officer, and in January 2021, he will succeed Mr. Tanger as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Yalof served as the Chief Executive Officer of Simon Premium Outlets of the Simon Property Group, Inc. Mr. Yalof also has more than 20 years of experience in the retail industry, previously serving as Senior Vice President of Real Estate for Ralph Lauren Corporation and Senior Director of Real Estate for The Gap, Inc. His responsibilities include the oversight of the senior officers responsible for Tanger Outlets operations, construction and development, leasing and marketing functions. Mr. Yalof is a graduate of George Washington University, where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration.
Arri Bagah: You're listening to the Personal Mastery podcast with Arri Bagah, interviewing CEOs and executives who are performing at the highest level in their industry, working purposefully towards vision, in alignment with the values and the state of constant learning about the self. Welcome to episode number two, and in this episode, we have a very special guest, we have Mr. Steven Yalof, who is the chief executive officer of Tanger Outlets. Stephen has over 30 years of experience in the real estate and retail space, and he has helped brands like Gap and Ralph Lauren develop their real estate and retail strategies. In this episode. We're going to dive into the retail space pre and post covid-19 and how his company has been able to pivot and implement new strategies to drive customers back in their retail stores. So if you have ever been interested in retail or are you just wondering about retail in general, this is a great episode for you. So without further ado, here's to you, Stephen. Welcome to the show. I'm sorry. Yeah, you went to George Washington University, did you grow up in Washington?
Stephen Yalof: No, no, I'm I'm in New York City. I'm a local, local, New York City local. I grew up just outside of the city in a town called Livingston, New Jersey. OK, and I've pretty much been here ever since.
Arri Bagah: Yeah. I don't think I've met anyone from Washington, actually. I think it is. And.
Stephen Yalof: It's a big move.
Arri Bagah: Yeah. We just end up in Washington and. Right. Like you've been known as a like retail guru. You worked at Gap, Ralph Lauren. Can you kind of talk about how you went from college all the way to getting in these positions?
Stephen Yalof: Well. Absolutely. When I was in college, I think it was my junior year of college, I was at George Washington University and I had taken all the for the first two years of college, I taken all of the prerequisite courses for a well-rounded liberal arts curriculum. And in my junior year, I went into the George Washington University School of Business and I took my first course in finance with a professor named Bill Hahndorf. And I remember the first day of school, he said part of the recommended course materials was a Hewlett-Packard, a Hewlett Packard HP 12 seat calculator.
Arri Bagah: Still have it.
Stephen Yalof: Still. And with that calculator, day one, we started to talk about how to calculate mortgages and how to how to calculate bond payments and return on investment and net present value. And I was like all of a sudden I had a professor that was speaking my language. And from there, I took a class in real estate and in that business curriculum, I, I always I always gravitated back to that first class that I took with Professor Hahndorf and decided that I wanted to be in the real estate business. So when I graduated from college. I went into the real estate business and I was fortunate to get a position with a company called James Felt that the original owner of the Felt Forum, which you probably know was the original. They call it the theater of Madison Square Garden right now. It was it was called the Felt Forum. And I worked for two guys, a gentleman named a bargain, and the other one named Henry Hart, Henry Hart Rice. At the time, he was the guru of the New York City real estate business. And in fact, today, the real estate board of New York gives out an award every year, the most prestigious of which is the Henry Hart Rice most ingenious deal of the year. So for those who get awarded that distinction and that honor, I always feel it's my responsibility to reach out to those individuals and let them know that having worked for Henry Hart right at the beginning of my career, that is, in fact an amazing honor. And so I worked for that, I worked for that firm and got into the real estate development business and as a real estate developer, we were building shopping centers. And specifically at that time, we were building factory outlet shopping centers. So I started out leasing factory outlet shopping centers and spent 10 years going from the assistant to the leasing. Persons'. To the actual leasing person, to the vice president of leasing, and it was a great journey. Deal making. You know, one of the things about that position that I think I gravitate gravitated to the most. It was very outwardly facing position. So this was back in the days and I'm going back about 30 years. There were no cell phones. There was no email. Business was done on the phone with you and you and you took notes by hand. And I think the skill I think the skills that you develop, you know, whether you're on the phone negotiating with somebody or you had the opportunity to get in front of them, I think you really learned a lot about a lot about deal making. I always felt face to face was the best way to get in front of somebody and make a deal, partially because, you know. The art of negotiation, I think there's a lot of face to face, there's a lot that you can learn face to face that you can't learn on a phone call, an email or a text message. Yeah. So just, you know, just to expedite my journey real quick, 10 years working for New Plan Realty Trust in leasing. I went to the Gap. I was at the Gap. Fortunately, I was there when Mickey Drexler was there. And you talk about being a guru in real estate. Mickey Drexler was the guru of retail. So I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work for Mickey. I spent about five years at The Gap when I went to Ralph Lauren. And again, you want to talk about iconic folks in the retail and design business. You know, I mean, not only did I have an opportunity to work directly with Mr. Lauren where I learned a tremendous amount about that business. But the the the OP, the chief operating officer, was a gentleman named Roger Federer and Roger Federer, who, you know, right now he's the chairman of Tiphanie, and I had the opportunity to work with him for 15 years and just learned a tremendous amount about the business, the entire journey, whether it was new Plan Gap or Ralph Lauren. I was always on the transactional side of the real estate business. So my role in each one of those jobs was to either secure great deals when I was working for the developer or do deals with the developer when I was working at The Gap. So I've always had a role in transactional real estate 15 years to my my polo experience. I was I was offered the position as the the head of the premium outlet platform, which is under Simon working for David Simon. I spent six years at that company. It was a phenomenal experience for us. It was a fantastic global portfolio. And recently, in April, when Mr. Tanger decided that he was going to step down as CEO and step into the role of executive chair at his family namesake company, he asked if I would step in as that CEO of that company. So. Quick version, quick journey, but as you can see, every one of the jobs that I held was really a stepping stone to the next one and not sure what's next. But I'm satisfied that I and I am where I am today.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, that's that's amazing. Like, you have acquired a real estate and retail like history, and there's just like so much experience and I'm super excited to dive into it. So, yeah, you recently took on the role as the CEO of Tanger outlets in the midst of a crisis like you must really love retail if you're like this. To step in that position right now. So can you talk about what motivated you to step into that position?
Stephen Yalof: Sure. Well. First of all. The outlet business is the business that I know, like I mentioned, I've been in the outlet business for over 30 years. I've grown up in the business. I've seen retailers come and go. I've seen shopping centers get developed and other shopping centers get out positioned and lose their market share. And as I've evolved and seen transactions from both the retailer side and the landlord side, you know, it's always been exciting to me to see how technology has changed the business. Yet at the end of the day, the business is still the same. It's focused on three core principles. It is the the operations, the leasing and the marketing of shopping centers. And although you can include new technologies in order to execute to all three of those big buckets where the rubber meets the road is an execution. And it's those are the three core pillars upon which this business is stands. And that's really, you know, my journey was through all execution on all three of those front lines. This particular position allows me to tie all three of those together. Mm hmm.
Arri Bagah: And when it comes to retail, like especially me being in the e-commerce direct consumer space, a lot of people look at retail as like a like a dying space. So I want to talk about, like, what do you think is going gonna take to save retail or even is it possible to say retail or, you know, even things like retail is going through any sort of like. Yeah, issues right now.
Stephen Yalof: Well, look, I you know, and I think that, you know, obviously e-commerce, the growth of commerce has been phenomenal over the past 10 and 15 years. And, you know, the advancement of the technology making e-commerce even more available to everybody has, you know, grown at a at a at a dizzying speed. I think covid even propelled it further and faster. The at home mandates forced everybody who didn't who wasn't used to shopping online, taught them very quickly how to become online consumers. But I think what's always been available, if it's been properly embraced, is sort of the omni channel experience of. Online drives the customer to a brick and mortar space and brick and mortar could drive a customer to an online space. And I think that retailers have found it important, if not imperative, to their business. To create that seamless experience between bricks and mortar. And their and their online experience, you know, a statistic that I had heard was that 90 percent of all shopping journeys that end in brick and mortar. Start online. And if you subscribe to that, what that's saying is that customers are. Doing their windows, shopping online. But still doing their executions in a bricks and mortar environment. And I think a lot of that is supported by. You know, the pace at which digitally native retailers are now opening up bricks and mortar stores. And whether it's, you know, a Warby Parker. Who ideally has a showroom averting a. A bricks and mortar showroom, we can actually transact and live with product or a bonobo's, which you simply walk into the store, engage with the product, try it on, feel it, and everything gets shipped directly to you. So it's different brands have spun it differently. The innovations are different, but, you know, if you think about the history of online, you know, you go back, you can go back over 50 years to the Sears Roebuck catalog, which if you think about it, that was the first online commerce. You essentially were getting a catalog sent to your house, more modern versions. Williams-Sonoma had a great catalog business, Victoria's Secret, a great catalog business, J.Crew a wonderful catalog business. And, you know, the catalog business, which was was the precursor to online, so there's always been that mix of online call, a catalog and bricks and mortar over the evolution of of retail.
Arri Bagah: Hmm. And now going back to even like pre covid-19, there are so like a lot of store closures and I do see that direct consumer brands are starting to they're also opening stores because it's very profitable for direct to consumer brands to open those retail stores because the cost to acquire a customer through Facebook, Google has really gone up over the past like four or five years. So what role does retail really play for like a like a direct to consumer brand? Is it for customers to come in and just like feel the product? Or how can you kind of see, like, both e-commerce and retail working very well together?
Stephen Yalof: You know, that's interesting, somebody said to me the other day, you know, you can't taste a cup of coffee online. And I think that that's sort of a metaphor for all the businesses where, you know, you as a consumer want to interact with a product. I mean, you can buy a Tesla online. But my guess is, before you spend that kind of money on an automobile, you're going to want to drive it first or at least sit in the car and feel what it's all about. Similarly, with with with apparel, jewelry, everything, all products are available for purchase online. But I think a discerning customer really wants to try before they buy. And, you know, I'm a big fan of that. I mean, I you know, I've I've bought products online and was disappointed with the actual purchase because it wasn't really what I thought it was going to be. But typically, if I go into a store and I have a chance to, you know, go into a fitting room and try something on, I'm typically more satisfied with the purchase at the end of the day. Now, obviously, there's commodity products, you know, so great brands like The Gap and all use the Gap because I work there, you know, and I know that I'm a size, large blue t shirt. It's it's a that's my that's my go to it. That's easy to buy a commodity product like that online for me, because it's the same thing every time I buy it. But if they're going to do a new promotion and a new cut of Jean. Personally, I like to try those on before I before I would buy them online, and that's just part of the shopping experience to me. I also like customer service. You know, I may be a little bit more old school, but, you know, if I have the option to chat with somebody about something or live speak to somebody about something or text back and forth, I usually take the the the the speak live option because I like the instant gratification that comes with the answer. I like the dialogue, you know, and I find that to be a I find that to be a better form of interaction for me. Mom, I'm sure there's a lot of people that feel that same way.
Arri Bagah: Right. Yeah, that's a beautiful thing about retail, right? If you want a product, you can go to the store, feel the product, touch it, and especially for clothing like I've done a lot online shopping. And most of the time you get the shirt and it doesn't fit the way you thought it would fit. And going to the store and actually trying it on is usually like the best way and you end up much more satisfied. So with that being said, it sounds like retail still has like its place in the customer journey. But recently I did read an article from MarketWatch saying that over one hundred thousand stores are planning to close by twenty twenty five. So what is that like? How do you kind of see retail, where do you kind of see it going over the next, like five years or so, if that many stores are closing? Like, what is retail becoming?
Stephen Yalof: Well, look, I you know, and I think there's always going to be natural attrition in stores, if you take a look at the outlet centers I was leasing 30 years ago, I think you would recognize five tenants that are in the outlet centers today. You know, if you look back even some of some of the most popular tenants in the outlet centers today, brands like Lululemon, Tory Burch, Under Armour, didn't exist 10 years ago. So there's a there's there will always be new retail stores opening and will always be older brands that are closing and I see that happening now. You know, also just to talk about retail in general, there's over a billion square feet of retail in the United States for full price mall retail. Yet there's only 70 million square feet of outlet retail. So, you know, I think that outlet as a channel is still under retailed relative to the exposure of full price retail out there, and I still think there's opportunity for the channel and some expansion of the channel, both to both domestically and globally.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, and I think like recently, with the changes that are coming, we even have like online store platforms like Shopify that are also investing in retail, where consumers would shop online and go pick up in-store, or they can even use like the same system that like Shopify that they use online for retail, where customers can scan the code and check out in stores. So things like that, they're starting to like rollout are really interesting. And that's that's one of the questions that I want to ask, which is I think the reason why a lot of brands are scared of getting into retail is because because of a tracking, like not being able to know, OK, if I spend some advertising money, what was the return on it? Because I can't track someone seeing an ad and walking into a retail store. So what is there like any new technology that you've kind of seen that is helping with tracking, or is that something that I still like being discovered?
Stephen Yalof: Well, obviously, there are some brands that do a great and there's other brands that are probably a little bit slower. And I think, you know, you talked earlier, you talked earlier about customer acquisition and, you know, making that investment in order to acquire a customer. And maybe I could answer your question this way. You know, you talk about opening stores and bricks and mortar and let's talk about opening stores in outlets just as an example, you know, if you've got a new retailer to the to the outlet business, let's take some let's take a luxury retailer, because there's there's been a move for a lot of the luxury retailers to open up outlet stores. And I think those luxury retailers are looking at it for a number of different reasons. I mean, our particular platform, we get over one hundred and eighty million people a year coming through our platform. That's 40 shopping centers, 15 million square feet. So we see a lot of traffic from luxury retailers that want to be in the outlet space are recognizing a couple of things. And that's that that particular customer that shops luxury probably shops high street retail or high end department store retail, get that outlet customer who may not be shopping in those particular channels is still shopping aspirational in an outlet. So there's a customer who looks at a brand, a luxury brand, and says, I might not engage with that brand on Madison Avenue or Worse Avenue, but sees that brand presented in an outlet format and says, you know, that brand may be accessible to me. There may be an accessible price point because I'm in an environment that's a discount oriented environment. Yet this great brand is here. Maybe I'll walk in the store and I'll engage with that brand and I'll buy something, you know, buy in, and I see that happening a lot in our channel. So you talk about the cost of customer acquisition, the opening of bricks and mortar store, particularly one in an outlet center, gives that brand access to that foot traffic, that customer base. And I think it's a relatively low cost of customer acquisition because then they can convert that customer an outlet and maybe ultimately own them for their entire shopping journey as they travel through full price sales as well.
Arri Bagah: And reflect this recent pandemic. You kind of see like this the same level. Do you think we're going to see the same level of foot traffic pushed covid-19, or do you think people are going to be a little more conservative when it comes to going to retail store and touching products, feeling products because of everything that's happened?
Stephen Yalof: You know, I think it's I think it'll be a mixed bag, so. When the state home mandates came down. Now, we're mostly non-essential retail, so most of our stores are closed. Now we still have essential retail that stayed open in a lot of our shopping centers, shopping centers. Theoretically, we never closed when. But here's here's here's the point. When. The stay at home mandates were lifted and they were lifted faster in the south than they were here in the northeast, but for example, south South Carolina, that to stay at home and were less than a month. And as those stores started to rise, the ban is lifted, the stores started to reopen and the speed at which the stores reopened in our channel and the speed at which the customer traffic came back in our channel. Really spoke to the importance of that particular channel. For people that like to shop that we you know, we were talking about everybody shopping online, but now all of our shopping centers are open, every square foot is open. Ninety eight percent of our retailers have reopened. Our traffic as of last week is back up to about 90 percent of last year's levels. Wow. And that that's a that's those are pretty impressive statistics. But prior to that, the center reopening. We implemented a number of things in order to engage a customer, which you said to your point, may not have been ready to come back to the shopping center yet and may not be ready to shop and touch product. So we instituted curbside pickup and that was something that was pretty popular. A lot of folks were doing that were primarily open-air shopping centers and almost exclusively open-air shopping centers. So it was very easy for us to facilitate curbside pickup because the customer could virtually drive in front of the store and pick that product up. But we did. We took it one step further. We started a program called The Virtual Shopper. And essentially through the virtual shopper, we were able to use our customer service representatives that were on hand at all of our shopping centers. And if a customer wanted to interact with Tanger Web, they can go on the website, they can engage our website, they can book themselves an appointment for a virtual shopper. They could say what product they were looking for, what store they wanted to shop. And through the technology of the cell phone. Virtual shopper would then engage the customer on the phone and literally walk a store and virtually shop it for them. Now, that virtual shopper program was really designed initially as how do we know our customers are customers in Riverhead, New York, before the mandates were lifted and they were able to go back and shop in Riverhead. But our shopping centers in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, were open. How did I make the product available to my Riverhead loyal customer? I did so by my virtually shopping the Myrtle Beach stores. But to advance it a little bit, what we're finding is now that everything's open, Riverhead is seven hundred and fifty thousand square feet and there's a bunch of brands you can't find in some of our other stores in South Carolina, like Are you Psycho Bunny? As an example, you go to a great street brand has an amazing following. Yet there's a customer, Myrtle Beach, that wants cycle money through the virtual shopper. I can make all thirty five hundred retailers across my portfolio available to every one of my customers, regardless of geography. Even if you're in California and I don't have a shopping center in California, but, you know, Tanger outlets want to shop Tanger outlets. You can do so via the virtual show.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, it's really amazing, like the speed of pivoting that happened, like over the past few months, we've had, like so many retailers launch direct to consumer sites and many of them implemented a lot of different things to allow their customers to shop. And even for me, being in the e-commerce space, like, I think retail is still like a very important part. Right, because people love to shop in general. And that's why there is like so many stores, like everywhere, whether in cities or suburbs, because people like to go shopping. And I don't think that's something that's going on.
Stephen Yalof: All right. If I can interrupt you for one second, you hit on a great point, because if you think about, you know, even now from an entertainment point of view, you know, we talked about folks, I guess, you know, your age that are a little bit less interested in shopping and perhaps a little bit more interested in experiences. Right. And that was a big buzz over the past couple of years, like how do we convert this experiential seeking individual to actually convert in a mall or shopping center? And what's been interesting about that is as those experiences that that generation has been seeking, whether it's sporting events, restaurants, travel, theater. As far as those are still less accessible, what we found is shopping has become sort of the go to experiential event that people to do as a family or to do with friends. And so I think the bricks and mortar street shopping outlet shopping mall shopping has been the beneficiary of a lot of that of people's desire to get out and do something experiential.
Arri Bagah: And I think that's something that's really important to recognize is that like although people right now might say, like, OK, like I'm never going to shop and store again, but like when things opened up, people did go out and shop and store. And that is because, like even working today, like we were working remotely, we were all like super isolated. And I even talk to, like, the one of the founders of Equinox. And she was like like people are saying they're never going to go to the gym again. But what did people do in the gym? Opened up like everybody started to go to the gym. So I think it's kind of the same thing here where people want that in person experience and shopping has become one of those things that you want to do with friends. And going more into this, like I've recently seen, shopping malls start to implement like different experiences, like whether that's like gaming or things for fun for people to do. How have you seen that help like these retail stores drive more traffic? And is it till I get people to stick around and malls much longer, or is that part of, like, the whole experience of just making it a fun place for people to come with their families?
Stephen Yalof: You know, we used to we used to get off the hook pretty easily and outlet centers because we talked about, you know, the the thrill and the best the greatest amenity at an outlet shopping center, is the value. And that you went to an outlet shopping center for the sport of shopping, whether it was the treasure hunt of going into a brand like a Tory Burch or Ralph Lauren or Nike and finding something that you couldn't find anywhere else, that perhaps was something that, you know, was out of season. And yet through some excess distribution, they were able to offer this product in an outlet store or perhaps it was a product that was returned to a retail store. And since it was in a different season, you know, a rack of cashmere sweaters shows up in a Ralph Lauren outlet store. I mean, to a lot of our loyal customers, that's really that's the thrill of outlet shopping is the hunt and what you can find when you're there. But, to your point, you know, we're finding that the customer, in addition to the shopping experience in the hunt, they're really looking for a number of amenities when they're on site as well, and they're really looking for an enhanced and elevated experience level. So for us, a number of the things that we do well, first of all, we've got a VIP shopper club and we've got a loyalty and rewards program that allows you to sort of game muffie the shopping experience. You know, if you you can achieve a certain level and get a certain reward. And I think that customers get very excited about a lot of the giveaways at Tiger. And it's something our customer, our customer service and customer experience is one of the core tenets of our business. But over the years, we've elevated our food offering, which, you know, traditionally food and shopping centers has not been, you know, at the level that you would find saying, you know, other other other venues. But in the outlets, we've been able to add, in some instances, some quick service, casual dining. Look, we know our customer doesn't have a tremendous amount of time. They're not coming to the outlet center for a gourmet experience. But we do want to make sure that we're meeting the customer where they are and providing them with food options that. Are appealing or attractive and klencke clean environment, and we're bringing them the food brands that they want as well as fashion brands.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, I know personally, for me, every time I went to the mall, I always stopped by the food court, hang out with friends and grab some food. And yeah, it was just like a really fun thing to do. And whether you bought something or didn't you still purchase something at the food court here?
Stephen Yalof: I'll give you a little teaser. You know, we're we're working right now on a on a new food court innovation. I'm not going to take you through it, but if you're happy back in the next six months, we can spend some time talking about it. But it's it's something it's pretty special. It's pretty out of the box. So we're excited to bring that to the Tanger outlets.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, that's awesome. And now for brands that are looking to get in like retail right now, obviously everyone in the e-commerce space, kind of what most people that I've talked to kind of feel like like we're trying to avoid retail right now. Like, how do you recommend these direct to consumer brands who are thinking about retail pre covid-19 to strategize? And when it comes to them going into retail post covid-19?
Stephen Yalof: Well, look, so I'll up my retailer hat for a second because, you know, I spent 20 years on the retailer side finding locations for brands like Gap and Ralph Lauren and all of the Banana Republic, Old Navy Club Monaco. So I've had a lot of experience building real estate growth strategies for a lot of different brands. And, you know, I think the most important thing. For a brand to think about before they enter into any bricks and mortar opportunity is understanding who their core customer is. And who is the customer? In addition to their core customer that they're looking to attract, because if their child, like we talked about customer acquisition, if they're looking to acquire a new customer and they need to understand who they're going after. And once they understand that. Putting the parts together to decide what are the characteristics of that particular customer, where where could I meet them, where they where they shop, it makes the decision making a little bit. Simpler for us, our core shopper is a woman between the ages of thirty five and forty five years old. And we know what their disposable incomes are fairly high. They're looking for brand, they're looking for designer, they're looking for fashion. And what they're looking they're looking to shop a lifestyle environment when I say lifestyle environment, when you walk into a Ralph Lauren store, you can look you can buy inexpensive Ralph Lauren and TJ Max, but that's a category that's category merchandising. So you walk into you might walk into a shirt department or a men's suit department or a hosiery department and find the actual product that you're looking for in if you walk into Ralph Lauren store in an outlet center, it's category merchandising. So you get to speak, I'm sorry, it's lifestyle merchandising. So you get to speak to your customer and sell them the entire lifestyle. You can sell them socks, you can sell them overcoats, you can sell them candles, you can sell them bedding all in one environment I speak. I think that a lot of consumers today like to shop brand and our channel allows you to shop brand on sale every day in one of our shopping centers, if that's what you are looking to present to your customer is. Your entire lifestyle brand in one environment curated. And in it, an introductory price point level that allows you to acquire this particular customer. We've got a great venue for you.
Stephen Yalof: Now, being an executive at these times, and you've been around for a while, you've been through the 2008 crisis as well. And so, yeah, this crisis was like some of the like the biggest lessons that you've learned across these hard times.
Arri Bagah: There's light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes the tunnel is a little bit longer, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and you know, we have to conduct our business, we have to be responsible. The key. The key module would be keep your powder dry, preserve your liquidity, make sure if you're going to go out and invest in a market like the. Do your homework, do your research, make smart moves, make smart investments. But if you believe that the money that you spend today at a discounted price, if you believe that there's light at the end of the tunnel, that it will reward you in spades. And every one of those cycles that you've mentioned, we've come through the other end stronger, in better financial position, you know, and with rents going up, retail is going up, sales per square foot going up. So I feel pretty good that once we come through this particular cycle, our business will rebound. And I'm basing it on, you know, I mentioned earlier how quickly our our our business came back once the state mandates were lifted. But I think once there's a vaccine or there's available therapeutics and we can look at covid-19 in the rearview mirror, it may take a bit of time before it's business as usual and maybe. Business, as we knew it will change, but for the smarter companies who are are wise about how they invest their capital, there's going to be plenty of business to be had in the future. People are still going to wear clothes, still going to shop, want to dine out. People are still going to want to be entertained. And we're going to be there to provide all of those things to those customers.
Arri Bagah: Hmm, yeah, I really hope we get out of this zoom zoom drop that we've been on for the past few months. And my next question for you is obviously your ACL, your super busy, and you make a lot of decisions. Are there any habits that you have that keep you sane, especially in these times?
Stephen Yalof: Yes. Make sure that before you leave your office at the end of the night, you've read all your emails. You know, I mean, you'll always get the overnight emails, but you want to be. It's, you know, just at this stage missing an email is almost unacceptable. And, you know, unfortunately, we find ourselves caught on a lot of things and people get into conversations with one another that really don't necessarily involve us. I would hope that people are respectful of others times and know when to not reply all. But I'm pretty fluid with email, and I think it's really important for my own personal. Sort of business sanity. That I get through the day's emails at the end of every day. I also, as I go through my emails, I go through my to do list every morning, the first thing I do is I write down my my to do list. And what I actually do it every Monday morning and I work off of it for the week, but I go through and I check in and I circle priorities and I highlight the things that I need to follow up on. I'm I make it a habit of writing things down. I never want to be the individual that forgot to do something because I was too busy to get it done. I also think it's important to return everybody's phone call. Because I'm in the sales business and I understand that the math is for every hundred calls I make, maybe I'll get 10 calls back, but treat every phone call like it's the most like there's money on the other end of the phone and it's the most important call that you're going to get that day. And I think that it's a great way of paying it forward. Mickey Drexler. Every phone call he gets, he returns, he returns his emails and, you know, you think I'm busy. I would imagine that that guy is 10 times busier. Yet he finds time. He finds the time to do the things that are important. And communication, I think, is absolutely critical. So to me. Those are those are some of the really important things that I like to do. I don't want anybody to say I never heard back from that individual or I'm obviously not important and. Regardless of who you have on the other line. It's very easy to just say thank you very much. This is not for me, I'll send it to somebody else. Typically, if I get a soliciting email, what I'll respond to that, soliciting email and say I am putting on blind copy the person in my firm responsible for that decision and giving them the opportunity if they want to engage to follow up with you directly. That way, at least I close the loop on that, that the individuals contacted me, I've I've given it to somebody else and given that person the opportunity, if it's something that we should be interested in to follow up on that directly.
Arri Bagah: Mm hmm, yeah, this is really cool, like like I need to definitely get better on that because, like, I always felt like when someone emails me and has nothing to do with me, like, I would typically not respond. But I think it's just like, great to respond to that person and at least have, like, that great first impression because, like, that person might end up in a different position at another time. And you might need to like need their help at any point. So I'm definitely going to start doing that. Thanks for sharing that. Well, Stephen, thanks for being on the show. How can people get a hold of you?
Stephen Yalof: Well, that would mean I have to give out my email just for emails a day. Oh, so it's Stephen Yalof at Tanger outlets Dotcom and again, feel free to. To email me. I've set myself up, so I will respond to you. You're going to test me. You're going to eat them now until like four or five if I'm real. Yeah, but, you know, look, if you're a digitally native business that's looking to get into the business or retail in general, I I'd love to talk to you about it. You know, these are great forums to get in front of people that are considering doing a deal, whether it's a full-term deal or a pop up deal. I've got an opinion on both of those. I'm happy to share. I'm happy to discuss real estate strategy. And you know how I grew several companies during the course of my career. But, you know, that's just me sharing your point of view. I'm just as interested, if not more so, and learning about you, learning about your business, learning about how I can help your business. And, you know, to me, there's so much out there that I haven't seen yet and I'm so anxious to learn about how to absorb and hopefully figure out a way to incorporate into what you know, we always talk about the future. So you can help me do that. I'm here.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, well, that's name of your contact information and description of the podcast. Listeners can check that out. Now, I have one final question for Stephen here. So if you're listening on iTunes or Spotify, please head over to YouTube, because that's where this last question is going to be answered. Thanks for checking out this episode of the Personal Mastery podcast, if you're listening on iTunes or Spotify, please follow this podcast and give us a five star review. And as always, thanks again for listening to another episode of the Personal Machree podcast.