VIA Outlets Sees Strong Leasing Demand Through 2023 as Fashion Brands Gravitate Towards Stellar Performing Outlet Centres
Cannes, 28 November 2023 – VIA Outlets, Continental Europe’s fastest-expanding owner-operator of premium fashion outlets by gross lettable area (GLA) over the past decade, has seen a surge in the pace of leasing activity across its pan-European portfolio through 2023. New and existing premium brand partners continue to open stores or increase their gross lettable area (GLA) with upsizes, bucking the challenging market conditions experienced in much of the full-price retail segment. Brands are following customer footfall and gravitating towards the strong sales outperformance offered by the outlet centre format.
According to Cushman & Wakefield’s Q3 2023 Outlet Market Commentary, year-on-year sales growth averaged 16.9% across the total European outlet centre market in the first half of 2023 versus H1 2022, with average footfall rising 11.6% over the same period. Sales performance was strongest at a 19% increase in outlet centres in the Iberian markets in the first half of this year, while total footfall rose the most in Germany at 16.5% year-on-year.
Year-to-date, VIA Outlets has strengthened its portfolio brand mix with the completion of over 260 leasing deals, which include new store openings, renewals, upsizes as well as strategic downsizes, and exits.
Jorge Sánchez Mera, VIA Outlets’ Head of Leasing, said: “Throughout the year we have welcomed a collection of exciting new brand partners keen to tap into the growth possibilities offered by the outlet sector in general and VIA Outlets in particular. That so many of our existing brand partners are increasing their leased area by opening new stores and/or upsizing to larger spaces to capitalise on their strong performance is a testament to the health of our outlet model.”
Among the notable new brands joining VIA Outlets’ 11 outlets across Europe are:
- Zadig & Voltaire, which chose Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet and Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet to open its first stores in the VIA Outlets portfolio.
- Selected Femme/Homme, part of the Bestseller Group, debuted its first outlet stores worldwide in Hede Fashion Outlet and Oslo Fashion Outlet, and later this year will open in Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet.
- Spanish shoe brand Hoff and French premium outerwear brand Jott, which specialises in light down jackets, chose Sevilla Fashion Outlet for their first outlet stores.
- American premium burger restaurant Five Guys opened its first restaurant within VIA Outlets in Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet earlier this year, to be followed by Landquart Fashion Outlet in Q1 2024.
- Norwegian fashion house Holzweiler and premium Scandinavian department store Steen & Strøm premiered their first outlet stores in Oslo Fashion Outlet.
- French premium ski brand Fusalp joined the VIA Outlets portfolio in Landquart Fashion Outlet.
Other new brand partnerships include Danish kidswear brand Name It (Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet and Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet), current Portuguese football league champions Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet), and the Italian sports brand Unleash Your Nature (Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet).
Demand for new and larger stores from existing brands also remains strong. This year has seen significant increases in GLA leased to, among others, Michael Kors, Only, New Balance, Gant, Boss (including more than doubling its GLA at Vila Do Conde Porto Fashion Outlet), Lacoste and Swarovski. Lacoste opened its 10th store with VIA Outlets in Hede Fashion Outlet in Q3. Michael Kors continues to open stores at pace, with the opening in Mallorca Fashion Outlet its fifth in the past three years. Karl Lagerfeld also opened in Mallorca Fashion Outlet in Q3, the premium fashion brand’s ninth store in the VIA Outlets portfolio. Dutch cosmetics brand Rituals expanded its presence in the portfolio by opening new stores in Landquart Fashion Outlet, Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet and Vila do Conde Porto Fashion Outlet. Popular outdoor brand The North Face added openings in Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet and Landquart Fashion Outlet to its long-standing store in Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet.
To accommodate the sustained leasing demand from brand partners, VIA Outlets continues to remodel and extend several outlet centres as part of its ongoing multi-million euro 3R strategy of remodelling, remerchandising and remarketing. In October, VIA Outlets opened a 4,000 m2 extension to its Sevilla Fashion Outlet, culminating a €30 million project since acquisition to extensively modernise the centre and transform it into the premier outlet destination in western Andalusia. Sustainable initiatives incorporated into the modernisation have enabled Sevilla Fashion Outlet to achieve a BREEAM [In-use] Excellent rating for its low-carbon management model and best circular on-site practices.
Projects to remodel and expand VIA Outlets’ Vila do Conde Porto Fashion Outlet in Portugal by 6,500 m2 and add 4,700 m2 to its Landquart Fashion Outlet in Switzerland are scheduled to start in 2024. At the same time, a thorough remodelling project will start in Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet, enhancing the centre’s premium appearance through the transformation of existing facades, new double height facades at the entrance, and introducing new water features to enliven the heart of the centre.
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