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REGIONALREPORT Triad

Being inside outlets has been a family trait of the Tangers

Factory-outlet stores are a tradition in Steve Tanger’s family. His grandfather, Moe, opened one of the first in the 1920s. His dad, Stanley, started what would become Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc., based in Greensboro, three decades ago and remained CEO until he was 85. Tanger, who joined the com- pany 25 years ago, succeeded him two years ago. His father died in October. A month later, the company opened its 33rd shopping center — with 80 stores — off Interstate 85/40 in Mebane. Three more centers are in the works. The company stayed profitable through the recession, though net income fell 43% in 2010.

You were 60 when you became CEO. Must have been tough to wait so long.
My father and I were best friends; he was my mentor. When I started in 1986, there was my father, myself, a secretary and a bookkeeper. So we built the business together and had a great time doing it.

How did the company manage succession?
I became president and chief operating officer in 1995, so there was a long transition. I spent a lot of time in New York, working with Wall Street and our major tenants, traveling around the country identifying appropriate locations for outlet centers and getting the centers developed and built. Dad spent a lot of time in North Carolina, working with our corporate group here and the accounting group. And we both worked with the marketing group.

Do you feel you work in his shadow?
I’m proud of his legacy, but I don’t feel I have to compete with him. We have different styles. Over time, I hope I’ll be as well-regarded.

How does your management style differ?
I think that my father was more entrepreneurial, building a small business into a larger one. My background is more corporate training.

How is the Mebane center performing?
It is way above average. The initial reception was stunning. We backed up traffic on the Interstate at our grand opening.

What are the economic indicators that tell you it’s a good time to build a center?
The best economic indicator is tenants signing leases. I think the economy is probably stronger than most people had imagined. When we build, we look out two, three or four years, not two or three weeks. And I think over the next two or three years, people will start to rehire. And a lot of folks, having adjusted their individual cash flows, and with secure jobs, are more receptive to buying discretionary items.

Will you still be CEO at 85?
We’ve got good genes. My grandfather retired in 1980, and he was 81. But we’re a public company now, and I serve at the pleasure of my board of directors.

 

 

 WINSTON-SALEMKrispy Kreme Doughnuts launched a growth strategy aimed at more than doubling its international stores within five years. The company has 421 stores outside the U.S. and plans to increase that to nearly 1,000. It also plans to grow within the U.S. Altogether, it has more than 640 stores.

ELKIN — Joe Towell, 59, was promoted from chief operating officer to CEO of Yadkin Valley Financial. He succeeds Bill Long, 64, who will remain as special counsel until he retires July 31.

GREENSBOROUnifi CEO Bill Jasper is now chairman of the textile maker. Stephen Wener, the former chairman, died in February. Roger Berrier, an executive vice president, was promoted to president and chief operating officer. Jasper had been president.

MOCKSVILLE — Tel Aviv, Israel-based Avgol plans to spend $35 million to expand its local plant, increasing employment by 42 within three years. That will bring the workforce at the plant, which makes nonwoven textiles, to 174. Salaries for the new jobs will average $33,629.

WINSTON-SALEMFoothills Brewing bought the beer division of Mooresville-based Carolina Beer & Beverage, including its equipment, trademarks and 12 beer brands. Terms weren’t disclosed. Foothills plans to add 10 employees, giving it about 90. Carolina Beer expects to keep all 230 of its workers.

GREENSBORO Deluxe, which prints and sells checks, plans to close its call center in Phoenix by the end of the year and move 175 jobs to three other call centers, including one here, where it employs nearly 250. The St. Paul, Minn.-based company didn’t say how many jobs would move here.

High Point University bought Oak Hollow Mall for $9 million, giving it room for future expansion. Meanwhile, it will contract with current mall owners, CBL & Associates Properties, to run it as a shopping center. In an unrelated move, the university plans to add 149 jobs by August, bringing employment at the university to more than 1,000. Many of the new jobs will pay at least $50,000.