Expansion of integrated leisure offer boosts trading and attracts new brands to Springfields Outlet

Following 13 consecutive years of revenue growth since opening in 2004, Springfields Outlet has reinforced its position as the leading shopping and leisure destination in the East of England with a significant rise in both like-for-like footfall and revenue over the school summer holiday period.

The trading boost follows the recent opening of an integrated leisure offer, branded Springfields Adventure Land, comprising of eight themed attractions including; the largest JCB Young Driver’s Zone in the country, bespoke Tree Top Village with nine towers and a huge 140 sqm Sky Net. This unique initiative follows many others such as a water taxi link to the town centre and computer-controlled fountains, all set in an award-winning environment. Additionally, the scheme has signed three top brands, Joules, Estee Lauder and White Stuff, to join its line-up.

Over the school Summer holidays in August, total footfall to the outlet centre increased by +9% with Bank Holiday footfall lifting +32% year-on-year. Total revenue jumped +10% ahead of last year for the period and +23% on Bank Holiday Monday, whilst 65% of retailers traded up by as much as +47% YOY. This contrasts with UK high street sales nationally in August that declined by -2.7% YoY, according to business consultancy, BDO that described the period as one of the worst on record nationally.

The combination of outlet shopping, featuring more than 50 top-name brands, and integrated leisure and dining has increasingly attracted visitors looking for a memorable family day-out to the scheme which is owned by the Triton Property Fund, managed by UBS. Research by Pragma Consulting shows that the inclusion of leisure is increasingly important in driving footfall to a scheme.

Ian Sanderson, Director of SLR, market leader in the leisure-based outlet sector who developed the scheme, said: “As outlets continue to go mainstream and attract more customers, the importance of creating a destination that appeals to the whole family increases. We are pleased to see that customers are visiting the scheme from further afield and are staying for longer, to the benefit of our retailers and f&b operators. This has been reflected in greater interest from strong brands and the three new signings announced in the past two months typify this.”

UK-based premium lifestyle brand Joules has agreed a 3,345 sq ft unit, and White Stuff, known for its versatile clothing in original and unique prints, has signed for a 2,006 sq ft store. The new deals take the number of signings since Adventure Land opened to three, joining The Cosmetics Company Store, part of the Estee Lauder Companies, which opened its first store in Lincolnshire at Springfields Outlet earlier in the summer.

The scheme is host to a number of top retail brands such as Fat Face, Next, Skechers, GAP, Ernest Jones, Radley and M&S. Casual dining restaurants and ‘grab-and-go’ operators centred around four eye-catching plazas complement the shopping and leisure experience and include Frankie & Benny’s, Starbucks, Costa Coffee and the newly-opened, developer-operated Springy’s American Diner.

Agents for Springfields Outlet are Knight Frank and SPACE Retail Property Consultants.