London Designer Outlet (LDO) in Wembley Park, the capital’s only fashion & lifestyle outlet centre, has maintained its strong growth with its school summer holiday trading results. Helped by experiential events and promotional activities, footfall rose by +3.0%, YoY compared with the same six-week period last year at a time when UK High Streets were showing much more modest growth.
Additionally, total revenue was up +4.7% YoY, especially mixed fashion, sports and footwear where sales increased by +9.0% YoY. Like-for-like revenue increased by a strong +7.0% YoY. This excludes new store openings such as Converse and Dr Martens, plus new restaurants and bars like Sugar Dumplin Caribbean BBQ & Bar.
LDO is also benefitting from the continued rise of ‘shop-cationers’, when tourists shop on their vacations, attracted by aspirational and desirable brands at up to 70% off RRP throughout the year. Tax-free sales have risen by an impressive +41.5% year to date. Of the visitors from outside the EU, some 22% were Chinese, including from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Sue Shepherd, LDO Realm centre manager, said: “Trading at LDO is always strong towards the end of the holidays for students of all ages preparing for the new academic year. Outlet shopping means guests at LDO can buy the same for less, or make the same money go further. Guests know that the shoes in Clarks, backpacks in North Face and essentials in Marks & Spencer represent the best value at outlet prices.”
Results were boosted by free experiential events, most notably LDO’s ‘Summer Garden Party’ with its array of fun, free activities and performances themed around the best of the English summer. This included live music every day from the LDO garden bandstand, free strawberries & cream, a massive, over-sized ‘selfie’ deckchair and daily activities for children.
LDO is one of a small number of ‘new wave’ outlet centres that blend retail, f&b, leisure and residential within an urban setting. It is a premium retail & leisure destination, with the appeal of major retail brands, a choice of popular restaurants and bars, and a range of experiential events, with the added bonus of serious, year-round discounts. LDO is projecting annual footfall of 7.0 million, of which 65% are ABC1 and 89% are under 55 years old.
Its premium fashion, sports/urban and lifestyle names include Nike, Kurt Geiger, Superdry, Guess, H&M, Gap, Lee Wrangler, Dr. Martens, Vans, Converse and Hamleys. LDO is home to Europe’s top Guess outlet store for the past two years, and one of Nike’s top 3 outlet stores in Europe. In 2016 and 2015, the destination was ranked in the top 10 best performing outlet centres in Europe.
As well as the outlet stores, casual dining restaurants and bars give plenty of choices during a daytime shopping trip, or for an evening out, such as Ping Pong, Cabana, Nando’s, PizzaExpress, wagamama, Prezzo, Zizzi, handmade burger Co and Las Iguanas. LDO has some 265,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space which includes 70 outlet stores, restaurants and bars, a nine-screen Cineworld and a large children’s play park.
LDO is owned by Quintain, as part of its Wembley Park mixed use development, and is managed by Realm, the UK’s largest specialist outlet operator.