- London Designer Outlet (LDO) records rise in number of guests shopping with their dogs
- Majority of LDO’s stores now welcome pet dogs inside, not just assistance dogs
- LDO introduces new, permanent dog-friendly services including watering stations
- Sue Shepherd: ‘The way we shop is changing… we need to adapt to create the best experience for everyone’
The open-air urban outlet centre, which is set among the wide and spacious boulevards and green spaces of Wembley Park, has seen an increase in the number of guests bringing their pet dogs with them to shop since June 2020, when retail reopened following the first lockdown. The centre’s new, regular four-legged guests signal the increased number of households who have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic.
As a result, LDO has worked closely with its high-street and premium outlet brands over the past three months to update dog policies in-stores. Some of the retailers embracing LDO’s pet policy, which allows well-behaved pet dogs on leads inside, include Kurt Geiger, Replay, Radley, Trespass, Converse, NICCE and Asics.
In a move to ensure that London Designer Outlet’s focus on guest experience extends to its newest regular guests, the team is introducing permanent, dog-services around the centre, including new watering stations. LDO’s guest services team will have treat pouches that contain dog biscuits and will offer them to guests with dogs as a treat.
Additionally, the designer outlet has big plans over the coming year to adapt their retail offer and experiences in order to tap into the lucrative pet retail industry through pop-up concepts, free-to-use amenities, free-of-charge biodegradable dog waste bags, as well as designated spaces for dogs and their owners who want to take time-out from visiting the shops and provide opportunities for pet owners to mingle.
Sue Shepherd, General Manager at London Designer Outlet, said: “We recognise that how we’re living, working, shopping and socialising is changing. It’s fundamental that we stay in tune with how our guests want to shop – and with whom – and ensure that we adapt and continue to provide an open, safe and accessible environment for everyone. Guest service is at the heart of London Designer Outlet and we will continue to listen to our guests and seek ways to adapt our services to provide an easy and inviting way to shop at the centre, particularly as the new normal beds in.”
London Designer Outlet has some 265,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, including 70 outlet stores, restaurants and coffee shops, and a nine-screen Cineworld. Its premium fashion, athleisure, gifts and lifestyle names include Guess, Kurt Geiger, Dune, Replay, Levi’s, The North Face, Vans, Puma, adidas, Nike Outlet, Zwilling and Lindt.