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Our industry is strong and can achieve a lot. To emphasize this optimistic spirit, we want to showcase what our industry offers. Recommended by Thomas Reichenauer, Co-Founder and Managing Director of ROS Retail Outlet Shopping, and Member of the ACROSS Advisory Board, Designer Outlet Gdańsk, Designer Outlet Algarve, and Designer Outlet Kraków are one of the many outstanding placemaking projects that drive the industry forward.

Following a customer-centric approach, the ‘BOLD’ strategy carried out by ROS Retail Outlet Shopping across its entire portfolio reached full potential in 2023. The operator’s average sales soared by +16.5% across the portfolio in 2023, fuelled by an enriched brand mix, a stronger shopping experience and the ability to adapt to evolving market conditions.

FOC Retail Service GmbH operates three outlet locations in Austria and Germany, all of which have incredibly high purchasing power but are small. Managing Director Michael Lungkofler explains the potential of smaller locations, why brands are just as successful here as in prominent locations, and why, despite the excellent performance, the small sizes result from regulatory policy decisions.

NEINVER has announced a strong operating performance in 2023, with total brand sales reaching 1.48 billion euros across its entire portfolio, an 11% y-o-y increase and record-breaking monthly growth. The centers operated by the company across six European countries welcomed a total of nearly 68 million visitors over the course of the year, up 8.5% compared to 2022.

Giles Membrey, Managing Director of Rioja Estates, takes us on a journey through 20 years of the outlet industry – from site identification, planning, construction, leading to exit funding and marketing. Much has changed, but the basic principles have remained the same.

“In reading up for this commentary on outlet malls, I was surprised to learn that the concept has been around for a surprisingly long time, especially in the US”, states Susan Hagerty Bonsak, CEO of Placewise.

After a record year in 2023, Designer Outlet Parndorf hopes to build on its 2019 figures in terms of international tourism this year. ACROSS spoke to Mario Schwann, General Manager of Designer Outlet Parndorf, about the return of international tourists, the potential of visitors from Southern Asia and Middle East, and the importance of cooperation, among other things.

FACTORY, the Polish outlet brand managed by NEINVER, is not only an awarded outlet brand but also a success story. ACROSS spoke with Magdalena Chachulska, Asset Management Director NEINVER Poland, about the portfolio, developments, specifics about the Polish market and what needs to be done to remain the market leader in 2024.

There are 211 major outlet centres in Europe. Differences in brand line up have created a clear performance hierarchy of sites, which is widely understood by outlet professionals, states Ken Gunn in his lastest European Outlet Ranking. It is possible to use this hierarchy to profile brands by the performance quality of their locations and ultimately rank outlet centres by the strength of brands present.

Shopping centers with high vacancy rates vs. booming outlets – so why not combine shopping centers and outlets? Haslinger Retail Real Estate Consulting is doing just that in St. Augustin, Germany: Huma World is a hybrid center with an outlet on the upper floor and a classic shopping center offering on the lower floors. In short, it is a weatherproof outlet with many restaurants and extended services. Michael Haslinger explains the advantages for brands, owners, and customers and why hybrid centers are not cure-all for the struggling shopping center sector.

All outlet players have worked hard to improve their attractivity, engage new retailers, offer more exciting Food & Beverage formats, provide more premium hospitality services and realize strong marketing campaigns, states Caroline Lamy, CEO of Magdus and the CL Outlet Consulting company. In this interview, she gives an overview of the European Outlet market.

The construction of Designer Outlet Kraków is at an advanced stage, with the building reaching the open shell phase. Located in Kraków’s city center at one of the most popular arteries in the city, Designer Outlet Kraków will benefit from a catchment area of almost 5 million inhabitants and a great tourism potential. The opening is planned for spring 2025.

Consumer criticism of shopping centers is nothing new, states Ken Gunn, Managing Director of Ken Gunn Consulting. As a retail business consultant, advising investors and asset managers, he has reported survey-based dissatisfaction with the proposition, branding, and management of shopping centers for 30 years.

Following a customer-centric approach, the ‘Trading-Up’ strategy carried out by ROS Retail Outlet Shopping across its entire portfolio has achieved full potential in 2023. In particular, the Polish centers managed by the operator have registered up to 20 new openings, occupying a total gross lettable area of 3,000 sq m. Expectations in the Polish market are also on the rise with the anticipated center extension of Designer Outlet Gdańsk, which is scheduled to open by the end of 2024.

Honfleur Normandy Outlet welcomed 1.2 million visitors this year, generating a 4.9% growth in revenue. These results were driven by a successful shopping experience and the promise of discounted prices.