(origineel Engelstalig persbericht) It’s kind of like the beauty competition in the Miss Universe contest. Every year, internation- al brand manufacturers as tenants evaluate the economic success of their stores in the cur- rently more than 150 outlet centers in Europe. The results are included in a ranking then, which shows the economically most successful outlet centres. But not only that: the centers which are located at the bottom of the tables are also named in detail. This provides a unique market transparency for this form of retail trade at an European level, which, de- pending on the placement with the owners and operators, can cause joy or sadness.
However, while in the “Miss elections” each year the crown and sash are put on a another beauty, this is different with “Outlet Centre Performance Report Europe” (OCPRE). For the third time in a row and for the fifth time since the OCPRE first was launched in 2009, the McArthurGlen Center in Roermond, the Netherlands, has been awarded to be the economically most successful outlet center in Europe from a tenant’s point of view. In the meantime, Roermond’s dominance could hardly have been greater: last year, Roermond was voted the architecturally most beautiful center, and in terms of brand mix, in 2016 this centre also took first place, and even Roermond once again won the prize for the first time in this year’s question of the best gastronomic offer.
The second and third places in the ranking of the economically most successful outlet centres are fol- lowed by Value Retail’s La Vallée Village in Serris (F), which is located close to the Disneyland Leisure Park in the east of Paris, and the Outlet Center Bicester Village in the United Kingdom, which is also close to major tourist destinations such as Stonehenge and Oxford. It is noteworthy that for the first time this year two Russian centers made it into the European Top 10: so, the Vnukowo Outlet Center in Moscow and the Pulkovo Outlet Village in St. Petersburg both with identical average ratings were able to establish themselves in joint 9th place. The Outlet City Metzingen, south of Stuttgart (D), which took 8th place, is the best German center in Europe.
At the bottom of the ranking, on the other hand, the “blues” is the order of the day. Neither tenants nor owners or operators are particularly happy about this. This time the Cilento Outlet Village in Eboli, Italy, holds the “red lantern” of the outlet center with the worst performance from a tenant’s point of view. In second last place comes the McArthurGlen Luxembourg, located in Messancy, Belgium, which has been romping in the back ranks for years and, despite the operator’s undoubted competence, does not manage to work its way upwards. A total of 33 outlet centers in Europe are given a more or less critical rating by their tenants.
Overall, however, the surveyed brand manufacturers still state that their stores operated in outlet centers are considerably more profitable than their stores in the inner-city high-streets. The locations in the out- let centres also continue to show a better economic performance than their own online stores. According- ly, this distribution channel will be expanded further by the brand manufacturers. On average, each brand manufacturer wants to open around 2.7 new outlet stores in 2018, with four manufacturers even setting themselves a target of ten new units. Broken down by country, Germany continues to be the number one target country: more than 57% of all brand manufacturers look for new outlet locations in Germany, followed by France with 37% and then the United Kingdom with 23%.
In the last few months, several television reports have dealt with the issue of products specially manufac- tured for outlets and the quality of such goods had been assessed very critically. This year, the OCPRE also has taken up the issue. It was particularly remarkable how openly the brand manufacturers re- sponded here. Only 19.5% of all respondents refused to provide information on this subject. At 57.3%, well over half of the producers made it clear that this was not the case, but with 23.2%, almost one in four surveyed manufacturers confirmed that this is part of their distribution policy. However, the answers do not reveal whether these goods produced specifically for outlet have the same quality or a lower standard than the products in full price.
For the first time, brand manufacturers also had the opportunity to name the brand that is most pre- ferred as a neighbour use to the own store in an outlet center. Here, Polo Ralph Lauren received by far the most nominations with 34.5%, followed by Nike (24.1%) and Tommy Hilfiger (17.2%). In this con- text, it became also clear that brand manufacturers are obviously looking for proximity to similar suppli- ers, i.e. sport brands are keen to be neighbours to other sport brands and manufacturers of household goods are looking to be close to other household goods suppliers. Obviously, the manufacturers recog- nize the creation of a special competence of offer in the spatial bundling and / or see here the possibility to position themselves in regard to the direct competition in a special way.
Since 2008, the OCPRE has been jointly carried out by the research offices ecostra (Wiesbaden, Germa- ny) and magdus (Troyes, France) on an annual basis. The report is based on a survey of international brand manufacturers among other things on the economic success of their outlet stores operated in the European outlet centers. In addition, general aspects of site selection, expansion plans and market de- velopments are also covered. This year, 82 brand manufacturers took part in the survey, representing a total brand portfolio of about 120 different brands. The study for the year 2017 has just been completed and the data evaluated. The printed volume with all detailed results will be published in mid-December 2017 and can be ordered in the ecostra webshop at a price of 120, — € (plus VAT).