After launching its ‘BOLD’ strategy at the beginning of the year, ROS Retail Outlet Shopping has delivered a successful 2023 year. With average sales growth of +18% in 2023 year-to-date (Q3) compared to 2022 across the portfolio, the operator is taking a holistic approach to adapt each center to the fast-shifting consumer demands and individual stages of the asset lifecycle.
A vital element of the outlets’ winning formula for ROS is its trading-up strategy. Focused on upgrading its brand portfolio, the operator is committed to a high-end and premium brand mix, drawing increasing interest from customers and new brands.
“We are focused on the right mix and the development of the premium segment. This is supported by our visitors, who are today more price-conscious due to the challenging economic circumstances and find the perfect balance of great brands for great prices in our outlet shopping destinations,” says Thomas Reichenauer, Co-Founder and Managing Director at ROS Retail Outlet Shopping. “At the same time, we are pleased that more upmarket and selective brands recognize the outlet format as a profitable sales distribution channel and choose to open their lead stores in our premium outlet centers,” he adds.
This is the case of the Adidas flagship outlet store that opened last summer at Designer Outlet Sosnowiec. With almost 1,000 sq m of gross lettable area, this is the largest Adidas outlet store in the Silesian region and the second largest in Poland, right behind Designer Outlet Warszawa, also managed by ROS. In addition, new brand openings like Pinko, BOSS, Estée Lauder, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, and Puma have expanded their footprint across the ROS portfolio and contributed to further strength of the operator’s premium brand approach over the past year.
Amidst plans for qualitative growth, the operator is currently dedicated to developing its portfolio of Designer Outlets in Europe with three center extensions and a completely new Designer Outlet within the next two years.
“Our centers are performing well and strongly, and this is demonstrated by the expansion plans of several of them. It is time to make existing successful locations like Designer Outlet Gdańsk, Designer Outlet Algarve, and Designer Outlet Croatia bigger and even more successful,” explains Mr. Reichenauer. “We are also really excited about our fourth project in Poland,” he says about the new development. “Located in the country’s most visited and vibrant city, we are confident Designer Outlet Kraków will be a very popular and strong destination as well as a pivotal component of the large mixed-use complex being developed, which will also include two retail parks,” he adds.
ROS will showcase its entire European portfolio of 12 operating outlets with center extensions and new developments at MAPIC 2023. Present in Germany, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, and Belgium, the outlet operator will be pleased to share its vision and know-how of the industry at the leading retail property market event in Cannes.
Designer Outlet Gdańsk to be the new meeting place on the Baltic coast
With an additional 2,000 sq m of GLA, Designer Outlet Gdańsk has been under construction since last September. It will be completed by the end of 2024, making it the flagship outlet destination on Poland’s Baltic coast. The center extension will host almost 20 additional stores, including a new modern food court, providing customers with a new dimension of shopping experience. The leasing process for the retail part is already in progress and aims to bring together a brand mix that will meet customers’ expectations of high-quality and well-recognized brands. The food court will accommodate national food concepts with a fresh and healthy food offer combined with well-known international F&B brands.
“As the only outlet center in Pomerania and the largest in northern Poland, Designer Outlet Gdańsk has been attracting numerous customers from the Tri-City region and neighboring provinces as well as international tourists since its opening in 2005. The region and our customers’ expectations are constantly evolving, and we are happy to respond. This and the increasing interest of brands were the main reasons for expanding the center,” explained Marek Berer, Senior Asset Manager CEE at DWS Group, owner of Designer Outlet Gdańsk.
Currently, Designer Outlet Gdańsk hosts 100 stores with fashion and lifestyle brands like Boss, Pinko, Calvin Klein, Guess, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc O’Polo, Kazar, Levi’s, as well as Nike, Adidas, Puma, New Balance and many more. The center extension is now in its second stage after the improvement of the entrance in 2021. The Nike store was also almost doubled in size, making it the brand’s largest outlet store in northern Poland. After full completion, the center will have a total gross lettable area of almost 20,000 sqm.
Designer Outlet Algarve will turn into the leading premium outlet village in Portugal
The premium outlet in the Algarve is planning to be expanded by approximately 4,000 sq m of gross lettable area by 2025, adding 25 new and attractive stores to the current offer of well-renowned brands such as Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Levis, Calvin Klein, Bimba y Lola, Guess, as well as Adidas, Puma, Asics, and Timberland. Recently, the premium outlet village has also welcomed several new premium brands like Karl Lagerfeld, Façonnable, Hackett London, and GANT.
Designer Outlet Algarve is part of the Algarve Commercial complex in Loulé, comprising MAR Shopping Algarve, the only IKEA store in the south of Portugal, a leisure area, and Designer Outlet Algarve. The total gross lettable area amounts to 82,000 sq m. Loulé is the capital of the largest and financially strongest district of the Algarve. The unique project is a cooperation of Ingka Centres and Mutschler Outlet Holding, with ROS as the outlet operator.
After realizing the center extension, Designer Outlet Algarve will host more than 80 fashion and lifestyle stores on a gross lettable area of 17,000 sq m while upgrading its premium brand portfolio and reinforcing its pole position in the south of Portugal and Spain. The new premium village architecture will also ensure an enhanced shopping experience among residents and tourists. Designer Outlet Algarve is the largest outlet village in the region and benefits from the large influx of national and international tourists of approximately 5 million per year. Faro Airport is only a 15-minute drive, and the Spanish border is a 40-minute drive away.
Designer Outlet Croatia is set to become the retail and shopping destination at the crossroads of South East Europe
Designer Outlet Croatia has also announced plans for further development with an upcoming center extension and new retail park. Despite the challenges from last years, such as the pandemic, the earthquakes in the country, the introduction of the euro as a new currency, and high inflation, Designer Outlet Croatia has demonstrated an outstanding performance with double-digit growth in all indicators.
These results have paved the way for the center’s extension by 6,000 sqm, 30 new attractive stores, and 200 additional parking spaces. The current brand mix of Designer Outlet Croatia already includes premium fashion and lifestyle brands such as Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Ted Baker, Patrizia Pepe, Adidas, Puma, Replay, Guess, and Lacoste. It will be further upgraded to fulfill customers’ demands. After the center extension, the premium outlet village will be home to 90 stores on a gross lettable area of 21,500 sq m.
The construction of the retail park adjacent to Designer Outlet Croatia, with a gross lettable area of 12,000 sqm and 13 new stores, is also in the pipeline and scheduled to open at the same time. This year’s major novelties are already the new Burger King with the first drive-in in Croatia and the Shell petrol station. The project will ensure that visitors enjoy an exceptional shopping experience in a unique shopping destination with everything they need in one place. It will also push Designer Outlet Croatia forward as a premium cross-border outlet shopping destination.
Designer Outlet Kraków kicks off construction works
The new outlet shopping destination for the Kraków and Lesser Poland region in Poland is officially taking shape. On 9 October, KG Group and ROS representatives signed the foundation act and officially inaugurated the construction works at Designer Outlet Kraków. This is the fourth project in Poland managed by ROS and is set to open in spring 2025.
On a gross lettable area of 20,000 sqm, customers will enjoy more than 100 stores with recognized fashion and lifestyle brands, welcoming cafés and restaurants, and 2,000 parking spaces in an above- and underground system.
“Thanks to its rich and varied offer and convenient location, Designer Outlet Kraków will become a magnet not only for Kraków residents but also for shoppers from the Lesser Poland region and neighboring provinces. Furthermore, the outlet will serve as a complement to another shopping complex we are building, with two retail parks already in operation,” explained Krzysztof Gaczorek, President of the Management Board of KG Group, the project owner and developer for Designer Outlet Kraków.
Located on the banks of the Vistula River, Kraków is not only the most visited and vibrant city in the country for residents and domestic and international tourists, but also one of the most important economic centers with a well-established trade tradition. Designer Outlet Kraków will benefit from an exceptional location in the city center at one of the most popular arteries in Kraków with excellent road connections and almost 5 million inhabitants in the catchment area, supported by the growing residential developments in the vicinity.