The arrival of the landmark centre is a significant moment for McArthurGlen as it marks the group’s first UK opening in over 20 years, as well as a return to the market where it introduced the concept of designer outlet retailing in Europe with Cheshire Oaks in 1995.
The centre is McArthurGlen’s seventh British designer outlet, joining its leading destinations in Ashford, Bridgend, Cheshire Oaks, East Midlands, Swindon and York, and it is the group’s 26th across Europe and in Canada.
“This opening represents not only a huge milestone for McArthurGlen as we continue to grow our European footprint, but a defining moment for brick-and-mortar retail as the only stand-alone shopping centre to open in the UK this year. As we emerge into a new consumer landscape, we know customers still crave the extraordinary day-out shopping experiences and moments of magic that only physical retail can offer, and we remain extremely confident that West Midlands will deliver this,” commented Susie McCabe, Co-CEO of McArthurGlen.
A landmark retail destination
Located just 30-minutes from Birmingham, Designer Outlet West Midlands provides customers with one of the country’s finest open-air retail and leisure experiences, offering up to 80 iconic brands in its first phase with year-round savings of up to 60 per cent.
Underlining the centre’s excellent fashion offer is a collection of sought-after international brand partners, including Coach, Kate Spade, Hugo Boss, Levi’s, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Calvin Klein, Ted Baker, Reiss, Kurt Geiger, Gant, Radley and Joules.
Completing the line-up of leading names in sportswear and athleisure are Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Asics and Skechers, while Wagamama, Starbucks and Five Guys are the first much-loved food and beverage brands to open, with their restaurants overlooking the Mill Green Nature Reserve.
To ensure that all customers enjoy a memorable day out when visiting the centre, it also features a one-of-a-kind children’s adventure playground adjacent to the nature reserve, luxury guest amenities, a dancing fountain, a bespoke sculpture and a Changing Places facility.
A thriving community hub
The centre has been brought to life as the result of a joint venture between McArthurGlen, Aviva Investors and the Richardson family. Spanning 285,000 square feet in total over two phases, the centre will create 1,000 new retail jobs for the community, supporting around £20 million of employment income each year. A partnership with Walsall College for a new training academy has helped connect local people to job opportunities with brand partners stores.
To help reduce its impact on the environment, the centre features around 400 newly planted trees, along with solar panels, on-site beehives, a wormery, electric car charging points and bicycle parking, helping create a greener, more sustainable retail destination. It also provides direct access to the adjacent nature reserve and its network of footpaths, encouraging local customers to visit on foot.
A £15 million contribution to a highway improvements programme has enhanced the nearby road network, while a £1.5 million package has supported local projects, including the ongoing maintenance of the Mill Green Nature Park.
“Designer Outlet West Midlands is an exceptional addition to Britain’s retail landscape and arrives at a time when the outlet sector continues to outperform the wider retail market. Investing in high quality designer outlets is in line with our core strategic objectives, so we’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with McArthurGlen to drive the performance of the centre and see it become one of the UK’s leading retail assets,” commented Darren Freed, Director at Aviva Investors.