- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
VIA Outlets, the joint outlet shopping venture between Hammerson, APG, Value Retail and Meyer Bergman, has reported that total brand sales has increased to 1.07 billion euros in 2018.
The strong FY 2018 results shows that the outlet shopping destinations, which are located in nine European countries, is the result of attracting more than 30 million customers across its 11 centres last year, an increase of 3.5 percent.
The total portfolio now has more than 1,100 stores, includes 139 new store openings last year, which has resulted in brand sales increasing by 9.3 percent, as well as the average spend per consumer rising by 5.6 percent year-on-year.
Otto Ambagtsheer, chief operating officer, said in a statement: “VIA Outlets continues to perform strongly across several different metrics, despite difficult wider retail market conditions. The outlet sector is one of the few retail segments which shows resilience to this market turbulence.
“Furthermore, we see that the decision to focus our operating model on remerchandising, remarketing and remodelling our existing portfolio is paying off. The centres that have enjoyed significant remodelling works in the last three years, specifically Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet (The Netherlands), Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet (Portugal), Mallorca Fashion Outlet (Spain) and Landquart Fashion Outlet (Switzerland), have all reported double-digit brand sales growth compared to 2017 – demonstrating the ongoing success of our investment strategy.”
VIA Outlet reports strong results for 2018 as the outlet sector continues to “show resilience”
Jorge Sánchez Mera, head of leasing, added: “The VIA Outlets portfolio, now home to well over 580 different brands, remerchandised 25 percent of its portfolio in 2018. This was achieved through new store openings, upsizing and downsizing existing stores and trialling pop-ups, all of which resulted in over 80 new brands joining our portfolio. We are always looking to identify a strong mix of local and international brands, serving both our domestic and international guests.”
Some of the newcomers to VIA Outlets in 2018 includes Polo Ralph Lauren and Scalpers in Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet, G-Star Raw and Ugg in Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet (Germany), Nikkie and BALR. in Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet, H&M and Mammut in Landquart Fashion Outlet, as well as Lacoste and Scotch and Soda in Wroclaw Fashion Outlet (Poland).
2019 about creating “best shopping experience” states VIA Outlets
The strategy and outlook for 2019 is about creating the “best shopping experience for both guests and brands” added VIA Outlets, which follows on from its 29 million euros investment announcement last year to remodel three of its outlets, Hede Fashion Outlet in Gothenburg (Sweden) where a new extension will open in October 2019, Sevilla Fashion Outlet (Spain) and Wroclaw Fashion Outlet.
In addition, in Q4 2019, significant remodelling works will commence at Vila do Conde Porto Fashion Outlet (Portugal) and Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet.
Commenting on the outlook for the year ahead, Ambagtsheer added: “The focus for 2019 will be to continue to deliver the best experience in our centres for our guests and our brand partners. Therefore, our work to remodel the rest of the portfolio will continue.
“We are also committed to achieving the highest international sustainability standards; the VIA Outlets portfolio was awarded three GRESB Green Star ratings in 2018 and we received the BREEAM In-Use certification for all our centres. The Hede Fashion Outlet extension has been designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.”
As well as remodelling, VIA Outlets has also revealed that there is a special focus on increasing EU and non-EU tourists to visit the centres as part of their holiday, as research reveals that tourists spend more than the average guest. To improve the shopping experience for non-EU shoppers, onsite tax refund offices have been opened in eight of VIA Outlets’ centres, offering visitors services that are normally only available at airports.
“These onsite tax refund offices have been very successful and we have seen that tax refund sales in these centres out-perform the respective city centre sales in terms of growth,” commented Ambagtsheer.
2019 will also see VIA Outlets building upon their own loyalty reward programme, 'Fashion Club’, the first of its kind in the outlet sector that launched last year, which according to its own data has shown that members spend on average 30 to 35 percent more than non-users and have a longer dwell time in the centres, as well as an above-average revisitation rate.
VIA Outlets was founded in 2014 and owns 11 premium fashion outlets across Europe in Amsterdam, Prague, Lisbon, Gothenburg, Zurich, Palma, Oslo, Seville, Porto, Wroclaw and Zweibrucken. It offers more than 1,100 stores across 260,000 square metres including Michael Kors, Adidas, Calvin Klein, Nike, Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Superdry, Puma and Hugo Boss.
Images: courtesy of VIA Outlets