He's Having A Mall

J.W. (Joe) Kaempfer, a Washington developer, is bringing discount culture to the staid commercial enclaves of Europe

A decade ago, European designer outlet malls fell into two categories: bad and worse. The handful that existed were mainly grubby places in France and Italy. Not surprisingly, they weren't too popular, and retailing experts said that proved Europeans were suspicious of discount malls and cut-rate goods. But why were American outlet centers crammed with holidaying Europeans snatching up bargain brands by the suitcaseload? Washington developer J.W. (Joe) Kaempfer has provided the answer: Old World shoppers appreciate browsing for top-label goods at deep-discount prices, even at home--so long as the place they do their shopping has style.

Kaempfer, 52, has shown...

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