Lifestyle Outlets has revealed a record year with sales at an all-time high at its two outlets – Gloucester Quays and Lowry Outlet MediaCityUK Manchester. 2016 resulted in a huge 14% increase in sales YOY and 10 new store openings across both sites.
Strongest performing categories included Footwear, with a 41% rise across the two centres, including strong sales at Clarks Outlet, Sketchers and Trickers and Mixed Fashion, which was up 23%, with record sales at All Saints, Jaeger, Calvin Klein, Gap and Tessuti. Outdoor and Sport saw a 20% sales increase, with strong sales performances from Nike, Asics, Gloucester Rugby and Regatta.
Ten new store openings, in 2016, also contributed to Lifestyle Outlets success story, with six openings at Gloucester Quays including Skechers, Levi’s, Phase Eight, H.Samuel, TM Lewin and Original Penguin. Lowry Outlet welcomed new stores Bench, ToyTown, H.Samuel and the newly relocated M&S Outlet. Christmas pop-up openings included The Works Christmas Shop at Lowry Outlet and The Calendar Club at both sites.
Lifestyle Outlets sales and footfall successes were driven by an ever-growing programme of impactful events, which were strategically promoted throughout the year. Gloucester Quays reported an increase in footfall of 3% YOY, as a result of its popular seasonal events, including the Victorian Christmas Markets, which is now the South West’s biggest free to enter Christmas market, plus this year had the added attraction of Gloucester’s first ever real ice rink. Other seasonal events at Gloucester Quays included Spring Fest, at Easter, Food Festival, in July, and an ongoing Christmas Market, throughout December, plus monthly Orchard Street Markets.
Lowry Outlet formed a new partnership with the regionally-established Makers Markets, running monthly artisan market events from September onwards. Proving hugely popular with visitors, these will continue in 2017. Other popular events included Chocomania at Easter, the Food Festival in June, the Victorian Christmas Fayre in November and the Magical Makers Market in December.
Jason Pullen, Managing Director of Lifestyle Outlets, comments: “Here at Lifestyle Outlets we have a passion for creating vibrant destinations. Our focus is to deliver outstanding customer experience, which is why great brands and entertainment are an integral part of our appeal – and is proving to be an important factor in the successful performance of Gloucester Quays and Lowry Outlet. With more store signings imminent and development plans in place, this is an exciting time for the outlets.”
Lifestyle Outlets rebranded in September 2016 as part of a wider strategy to redefine outlet shopping and, in doing so, challenge the soullessness of traditional centres to create a better generation of outlet destinations.
Pullen added: “Shopping has become a major leisure activity and people expect more from a centre than just background music. They want an experience. To encourage more frequent visits, attract new audiences and cement our position as part of the local community and wider region, we host major events like our summer Food Festivals and Christmas Markets, whilst our monthly artisan food and craft markets maintain activity and interest throughout the year.
“Our innovative approach means our retail schemes are twice the size of traditional outlets, with leisure and food and beverage added to the outlet core.”
New appointments across the portfolio included Helen Anderton as Operations Director for Lifestyle Outlets and, at Lowry Outlet, new centre manager, Kelly Hurst, new retail liaison manager, Gary Morris and new car park manager, Paul White. At Gloucester Quays, Matt Bird was appointed as new centre manager following the retirement of Richard Rawlings, and Laura Hepple appointed as new customer service manager.
Plans have recently been revealed for the redevelopment of Lowry Outlet’s infrastructure. The £13 million investment includes the creation of a stunning waterside restaurant terrace with a new upper level balcony along the waterfront and new restaurants along the waterside. New entrance and steps will be created from the entrance of the outlet to access Manchester’s new waterfront.
Phase one, which is already underway, will also bring in new anchor tenants, which will add to the retail experience of Lowry Outlet.
Lifestyle Outlets, which is developing a new site in Glasgow due to open in 2020, offers a place to meet, relax, enjoy and feel a part of. Customers can expect to find quality outlet retailers, including high street names and designer labels offering up to 70% off; cosmopolitan restaurants, bars and coffee shops, state-of-the-art cinemas, gyms, hotels, regular artisan food and craft markets and large-scale seasonal events.
Lifestyle Outlets collaborates with its brands to give customers a quality retail experience. Just some of the brands that can be found at Lifestyle Outlets include M&S Outlet, Skechers, L.K.Bennett, Calvin Klein, Phase Eight, Jaeger, Nike, All Saints, Levis, Bench, Clarks Outlet, Cineworld, Virgin Active, Carluccio’s, Zizzi, Bill’s, Pizza Express.