On November 29, 2018, it finally happened: Zsar Outlet Village in Vaalimaa, Finland, the first premium outlet village in the Nordics–according to developer East Finland Real Estate Ltd.–opened its doors. The scheme’s phase I with its 12,000 sq m GLA includes 65 stores with brands like adidas, Armani, Bagatt, Braccialini, Ecco, Guess, Hugo Boss, Iceberg, Kappa, Le Creuset, Lindt, Liu Jo, Reima, Roberto Cavalli andSkechers among others.
The new outlet is located at a busy crossing point between the EU and Russia. It therefore enjoys a potent cross border catchment of 8.5 million consumers as well as a strong flow of Asian and other tourists transitioning between Helsinki and St. Petersburg.
Collaboration with Ctrip
Zsar Outlet Village collaborates with Ctrip, the largest online travel agent in Asia, to attract Chinese tourists. Ctrip will introduce the new shopping-destination in its travel programs and marketing platforms, such as its website, Wechat social media channel, and mobile applications. Chinese tourism to Finland increased by 32% 2017 compared to 2016, and 239% since 2014. The Chinese are also the biggest spenders of all tourist groups, the average purchase being over €1,200 per trip. While Finland is currently the fastest growing destination for Asian travelers in Northern Europe, good level shopping has been one of the missing elements so far. Zsar Outlet Village steps into the breach of this former lack of shopping options.