The fast growing operator of premium outlets reports strong results, boosted by increased footfall and average spend per guest.In 2018, VIA Outlets increased its brand sales to 1.07bn euros and attracted more than 30 million customers over the course of the year. VIA Outlets opened 139 new or remerchandised stores in 2018. The portfolio now has over 1,100 stores in its eleven centers, across nine European countries.
Otto Ambagtsheer, COO, commented: “VIA Outlets continues to perform strongly across several different metrics, despite difficult wider retail market conditions. The outlet sector is one of the few retail segments which shows resilience to this market turbulence. Furthermore, we see that the decision to focus our operating model on remerchandising, remarketing and remodeling our existing portfolio is paying off. The centers that have enjoyed significant remodeling work in the last three years, specifically Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet (The Netherlands), Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet (Portugal), Mallorca Fashion Outlet (Spain) and Landquart Fashion Outlet (Switzerland), have all reported double-digit brand sales growth compared to 2017 – demonstrating the ongoing success of our investment strategy.”
Since its creation, VIA Outlets has invested over 125 million euros to remodel and extend its centers. In 2018, 29 million euros was set aside to remodel three of its outlets: Hede Fashion Outlet in Gothenburg (Sweden) where a new extension will open in October 2019, and Sevilla Fashion Outlet (Spain) and Wroclaw Fashion Outlet, where remodeling works will improve the overall guest experience. In Q4 2019, significant remodeling works will commence at Vila do Conde Porto Fashion Outlet (Portugal) and Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet.
Commenting on the outlook for the year ahead, Otto Ambagtsheer said: “The focus for 2019 will be to continue to deliver the best experience in our centers for our guests and our brand partners. Therefore, our work to remodel the rest of the portfolio will continue. We are also committed to achieving the highest international sustainability standards; the VIA Outlets portfolio was awarded three GRESB Green Star ratings in 2018 and we received the BREEAM In-Use certification for all our centers. The Hede Fashion Outlet extension has been designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.”