Nov 19, 2012
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McArthurGlen to open outlet centre in Vancouver

Nov 19, 2012

McArthur Glen, owner of 21 outlet centres in Europe, is opening its first centre out of Europe in Vancouver, Canada. The mall will open in late 2014 or early 2015 and is the fruit of a joint venture with the Vancouver Airport Authority, operator of the city's airport.

The choice of location was most likely carefully thought out in detail. The centre will benefit from a surrounding catchment area of 2.7 million inhabitants, 2.4 million living less than 30 minutes by car. Moreover, the average income in the area is $91,000 versus $70,000 in the United States. The population of Vancouver has grown more than 10% over the past five years.

A sketch of the project in Vancouver

But most importantly, and no doubt the reason for the partnership: "Vancouver Airport is the gateway to the Americas for many Asian tourists," said Gary Bond, chief executive of McArthurGlen Development. According to the developer, there are no less than 57 direct flights to China every week, with some 2.3 million Asians coming through the airport each year. Overall, 17 million passengers pass through the airport in Vancouver, and almost 9 million tourists visit the city. The outlet centre is located 3 minutes from the airport via the sky train and 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver.

The first phase will occupy over 18,000 square meters. The second phase will give the centre a total of 34,400 square meters, housing between 150 and 175 stores made up of U.S. and international brands. McArthurGlen's goal is to create a truly upscale shopping centre with a mix of luxury and designer brands. "Luxury brands should represent 30% of the occupancy," said Gary Bond, mentioning names such as Gucci and Ralph Lauren.

The Vancouver centre is not McArthurGlen's only current new project. The outlet centre developer is working on a 30,000-square-meter project in Gent, Belgium in a new district called The Loop Ghent. Construction is expected to begin in late 2013. The company also has another project on the books for Germany and is looking at Istanbul but has not announced any specific details.

The developer is also working on several expansions of existing centres: in 2013 Castel Romano near Rome and and Berberion near Florence; in 2014 La Reggia near Naples and Swindon in Great Britain: Neumünster near Hamburg in 2014 or 2015. And La Reggia is scheduled to be expanded to 40,000 square meters in 2015.

This year, McArthurGlen has opened promotional offices in Brazil, Russia, South Korea and China to attract tourists even before they leave their country.

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