The capital’s leading lifestyle and fashion outlet centre is predicting a ‘summer of shopping’, with guests having piled their shopping baskets high in the first week since retail reopened.
London Designer Outlet saw total sales up +148% compared to retail reopening during the week of the June 2020 reopening. Ahead of the reopening of retail, consumer analysts Springboard had predicted that high streets would see a +48% rise in sales once restrictions were lifted on 12 April.
In a further sign that destinations like London Designer Outlet are in a promising position to bounce back, sales were even up on the pre-pandemic Easter week of 2019. In the six trading days from 12 to 17 April, sales were up +1.5% compared to the seven trading days of Easter week in 2019.
With website users up +107% compared to the previous week as guests planned their visit, the designer outlet centre, which counts the likes of Kurt Geiger, Guess, Levi’s, Nike, Puma, Lindt and M&S among its retail brands, saw socially distanced queues form each day outside many of its stores. Buoyed by release from months of lockdown, a positive atmosphere in the centre was boosted by live music provided by London Designer Outlet as shoppers piled their baskets high while enjoying the open-air outlet centre with its discounts of up to 70% off RRP.
The urban designer outlet’s guests also had their first opportunity to visit the newly upsized adidas store. The global sporting brand, which expanded its floor space by 63% to 10,550 sq ft during the third national lockdown, has brought a new experiential offer to its store ahead of the UEFA European Football Championship.
Sue Shepherd, General Manager for London Designer Outlet, said: “One week back and it feels like we’ve never been gone. Our guests have returned to enjoy a coffee or a meal with their friends and family in our expanded alfresco dining areas, and to fall back in love with the physical shopping experience. And returning guests will enjoy new experiences with us, including Radley’s new store which first opened its doors between the second and third national lockdowns and the stunning upsized adidas. Our brand partners are doing an exceptional job in making our guests feel welcome and that is very clearly reflected in their sales. Having been locked down for months, London Designer Outlet’s guests are certainly making up for it now – and, as the weather improves and the vaccine rolls out, we are fully expecting to welcome them back, time after time, over the course of the next few months as our guests, and our brands, enjoy a summer of shopping.”
The open-air London Designer Outlet, managed by the UK’s specialist outlet operator Realm, is well-placed to benefit from the incoming shopping boom. Set among the wide boulevards of Wembley Park, the emerging destination undergoing a multi-billion pound transformation by award-winning developer Quintain, brands at London Designer Outlet benefit from the centre and the wider neighbourhood’s mixed-use and coordinated ecosystem. This includes a rich selection of bars, restaurants, cafes and leisure outlets; London Designer Outlet’s active centre management and investment in technology to improve the physical shopping experience; and having some of fashion’s top names call London Designer Outlet home.
London Designer Outlet will also benefit from Wembley Park’s summer events programme, which aims to bring the community back together after the pandemic, and the return of large scale events at the neighbouring SSE Arena, Wembley and the National Stadium, including the rescheduled Euros in June and July.
The urban designer outlet centre, with its excellent transport links to central London and the Home Counties, is welcoming guests back with a series of tried and tested measures to guarantee people’s health and safety, as well as implementing some new measures to ensure guests have an enjoyable experience. With a one-way system, queuing and ample hand sanitisation stations in place, London Designer Outlet has also introduced clear face masks for staff so that guests can be greeted with a smile, as well as colourful new displays and live entertainment to create a positive, vibrant atmosphere.
London Designer Outlet continues to build on its digital offering to improve the physical shopping experience. It is offering Dropit, the app-based store-to-door delivery service free for all guests, in order to ensure that guests have a comfortable and enjoyable experience, whether visiting by car or through the outlet centre’s excellent transport links. The LDO Edit, its ‘first for UK outlets’ click-and-reserve service, is also back up and running, offering flash deals for guests to discover from the comfort of their living rooms before visiting London Designer Outlet to collect their items and find further bargains in-store.
Matt Slade, Retail Director at Quintain, said: “The return of guests to London Designer Outlet, and across the Wembley Park neighbourhood, shows why these destinations are irreplaceable. For too long, we’ve relied on online shopping and takeaway apps to get us through the monotony of lockdown; now, our favourite shops, bars, cafes and restaurants are open and we have collectively rushed to return. The thrill of shopping, finding a hidden gem and spending time with our loved ones, is something our guests have very much missed and it is a huge pleasure to welcome them back.”