Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (NYSE: SKT) was struggling a bit before the COVID-19 pandemic. With the massive e-commerce disruption to the retail industry, Tanger has grappled with tenant struggles for the past few years. The pandemic added another layer of trouble and uncertainty into the mix.

Just this year, Tanger’s second-largest tenant, Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ: ASNA), declared bankruptcy in July. Other large tenants, such as J.Crew and Brooks Brothers, have also filed. In addition to leaving Tanger with a suboptimal rent collection rate, this has resulted in rising vacancies in the company’s properties. And the recent wave of bankruptcies likely isn’t over just yet.

To be perfectly clear, Tanger has been an absolutely terrible stock to own, with shares down by more than 80% over the past five years.

How does Tanger plan to turn things around?

First off, the worst of the pandemic’s effects on the business seem to be over. Tanger recently reported an 85% rent collection rate in August, a dramatic improvement from the 40% of tenants who have paid second-quarter 2020 rent. Virtually all the company’s tenants have reopened, and Tanger said shopper traffic in August and September was nearly 90% of the levels at the same time in 2019.

Going forward, Tanger has several initiatives that could help return the company to its former glory. First, it recently launched a virtual shopping service that allows consumers to hunt for bargains at Tanger’s properties from home. Omnichannel capability is a big factor in retailers being
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