Outlets outperform

Footfall and sales up across the outlet sector

Outlet operators across the UK are reporting strong footfall and sales in the Christmas period, in stark contrast to subdued performance in full-price malls.

Realm reported footfall up 6.5% and sales up 4.5% in the six weeks to Christmas across the four outlets it manages – Livingston Designer Outlet, Resorts World Birmingham, Dalton Park in County Durham and London Designer Outlet in Wembley.

Realm commercial operations director Angus Fyfe said: “This December in particular our schemes have benefited from the impact of new lettings in some key categories and a greater sense of dependability that an outlet can comfortably service the needs of Christmas shopping. While price is always going to be an inherent part of our appeal, we have seen larger volumes of footfall drawn to our more relaxed destinations at what is becoming an ever more stressful time of year.”

At the same time Springfields Outlet in Lincolnshire reported sales up by 15% and footfall up 9% year-on-year across the Christmas period. The outlet mall, owned by UBS’s Triton Property Fund and managed by SLR, has now seen 14 years of consecutive revenue growth.

SLR director Ian Sanderson said: “The strong performance of Springfields illustrates the continued resilience of the outlet sector and the increasing importance of a mixed-use offer in creating a destination.”

And Northern Ireland’s only outlet centre, The Boulevard at Banbridge, has recorded record footfall and turnover for 2018. The Lotus Group-managed mall enjoyed 12% growth in footfall and a 16% increase in turnover driven in part by a 14% increase in cross-border visitors from the Republic.

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