- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
VIA Outlets, a joint venture between APG and Hammerson that owns eleven premium fashion outlets in nine European countries, has reported continued strong growth for FY 2019, with a 8.4 percent increase in brand sales and 6.1 percent rise in footfall growth.
Europe's fastest-growing owner-operator of premium outlet shopping destinations has reinforced its continued remodelling programme and the introduction of new brands with another successful year that saw brand sales uplift to 1.16 billion euros in 2019, and footfall increases saw VIA Outlets welcome a record 32.2 million guests over the year.
These results it adds “demonstrate the increasing attractiveness of an ever-improving VIA Outlets portfolio and the resilience of the outlet sector compared to the headwinds faced by wider, full-price high street and retail markets”.
Otto Ambagtsheer, chief executive officer at VIA Outlets said in a statement: “Our portfolio continues to deliver exceptional results with growth across all fundamental metrics, proving once again that our 3 R’s strategy is working well and continues to deliver fantastic results for our investors.
“Stepping into the new decade, we are continuously improving the overall experience for our guests and brand partners and remain dedicated to this winning strategy. There is an exciting journey ahead as we look for new ways to further extend the VIA Outlets brand and strengthen VIA Outlets’ position as one of the leading premium outlet owner-operators in Europe.”
VIA Outlet reports continued strong growth for 2019
The company’s 3 R’s strategy, which focusses on Remodelling, Remerchandising and Remarketing, is a driving force behind the outlet company’s continued growth, as its portfolio now includes over 1,100 stores totalling 267,000 square metres, across its eleven centres in nine European countries.
In the past 12 months, 31 percent of the portfolio has been remerchandised, while 128 new brands joined the VIA Outlets’ portfolio, including Ajax, Frederique Constant, Liu-Jo, Coccinelle, while brands such as Adidas, Hugo Boss, Diesel, Karl Lagerfeld and Calvin Klein opened further stores within the portfolio. In addition to this, 210 relocations and refits took place, including upsizes for Superdry, Adidas, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss and Gant.
Jorge Sánchez Mera, head of leasing at VIA Outlets, added: “Remerchandising is a cornerstone of our strategy, allowing us to offer guests an unrivalled mix of international and local, established and up-and-coming brands. We work collaboratively with our brand partners and as a result, we are seeing existing brands choosing to expand within the portfolio, while we are also pleased to have welcomed a whole new set of retailers.
“As interest from retailers continues to increase, it’s becoming overtly clear that outlet centres are now considered an essential channel in any successful brand’s sales strategy. More and more retailers are seeing outlet centres as a good source of revenue – plus there is the added benefit of reaching new customer segments and markets.”
VIA Outlet reports increased footfall across portfolio in 2019
Key performers across the portfolio included Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet, which reported the strongest footfall increase, with a 12 percent year-on-year uplift, reaching a total of 3.3 million visitors, and it also recorded the highest increase in brand turnover with 20 percent. This follows extensive remodelling and upgrading works at the end of 2018 as well as 14 new store openings in the past year such as Gant, Boggi, Karl Lagerfeld, Liu-Jo, Faconnable and Havaianas.
Other outlets that passed new footfall milestones, included Mallorca Fashion Outlet welcoming close to 5.3 million guests, Vila do Conde Porto Fashion Outlet with over 5 million and Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet reaching over 4 million shoppers.
Four centres also undertook significant redevelopment and remodelling works in 2019 including Wroclaw Fashion Outlet in Poland, Sevilla Fashion Outlet in Spain, Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet in Germany and Hede Fashion Outlet in Sweden. The remodelling and extension works at Hede Fashion Outlet, added 2,376 square metres of GLA and completed in October, resulted in a 37 percent like-for-like increase in the number of visitors during the last three months of the year.
Remodelling will continue in 2020, added VIA Outlets, with works completing at Vila do Conde Porto Fashion Outlet in Portugal. In the first quarter, work will also start at Oslo Fashion Outlet as well as a relaunch of Zweibrücken following additional remodelling in Q1.
By the end of 2020, VIA Outlets will have undertaken remodelling works across all eleven centres. A total of 200 million euros has already been invested since the company was formed in 2014, in line with its mission to provide the very best experience for both guests and brand partners.
Images: courtesy of VIA Outlets