Outlet Centres on the Rise

Year on year it seems shopping centre outlets are becoming progressively more popular. They make luxury items affordable for a much wider pool of consumers, this ‘bargain’ mentality linked with a strong guest experience is really drawing in the consumers and lifting footfall numbers to new heights!

The business of fashion reported that some traditional retailers now have more outlet stores and discount stores than full-price shops – this clearly shows the success retailers are having at outlet schemes. With the increase in footfall and sales, the outlet market is becoming extremely active with new schemes being developed; current outlets being refurbished and extended, and increasingly more acquisitions being made.

In the UK, Rioja Developments and Buckminster are making plans for a new Designer Outlet Village in Grantham, Lincolnshire. This proposed development would contain 150 retail stores plus F&B tenants and children entertainment units.

Bicester village, located halfway between Birmingham and London has become a real tourist attraction, especially from China with figures showing three in four making a visit on their trip to the UK.

McArthur Glen’s Cheshire Oaks outlet in Ellesmere Port has an expansion planned for 2018; the outlet attracts eight million visitors a year and this development will add more retail units, ensuring the scheme remains attractive and can continue to exceed footfall expectations year on year.

Further afield, Neinver have reported the total group footfall received a 10% increase reaching 18.5million visitors in 2016. Neinver are experiencing growth across their entire portfolio, including an 11% sales growth across their Spain-based outlets and France received their best results with a 16% increase in footfall!

With their continued success across Europe it isn’t surprising they have further plans; Neinver plan to open a new outlet in Prague, Czech Republic at the end of 2017! Prague is a very popular city to visit; the increased tourism footfall linked with Neinver’s strong reputation is giving the development high expectations for success!

McArthurGlen & TH Real Estate officially opened the 5th phase of Designer Outlet Parndorf, Austria. They have experienced double-digit growth in terms of sales revenue and footfall over the past few years receiving more than 5 million visitors in 2016 – a catalyst for the development of the scheme!

McArthurGlen have also just opened their 23rd Designer Outlet last week in the South of France. Julia Calabrese, McArthurGlen’s CEO, said: “Our aim is to invest in the local region and to create an exciting new tourist attraction”. Outlets are becoming highly sought after by tourists, this centre has been designed by a French construction company, boasting beautiful architecture and gardens so I am sure this outlet will have no trouble enticing us in!

Outlets are performing confidently across Europe; footfall appears to be increasing across the board which is driving operators to acquire more sites and landlords to develop their current offering. The increased development, footfall and sales are foretelling a positive future for the outlet management sector!

Kat Whitehead, Senior Marketing Executive, Foundation Recruitment

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