An interesting article in Property Magazine International draws on the expert knowledge of geopolitical analyst Rear Admiral Chris Parry who gives his advice to retailers who are looking to expand their outlet centres further afield. Europe already has over 205 factory outlets spanning a total area of 3.3 million square metres, yet with an increase of floor space alongside a decreased ratio of residents to outlet space, retailers are exploring other locations in which to grow business.
For example Value Retail have three current projects for new centres in China, including one at 22,000 square metres located less than 30 minutes from Shanghai. McArthurGlen is opening a new centre in Vancouver in 2014 which will be the company’s first outside Europe and is a joint venture with Vancouver Airport Authority – with the busy airport acting as a gateway to Asia (57 direct flights every week to Asia Pacific) both local and international tourists are potential customers.
As an industry analyst, Chris Parry’s first piece of advice to outlet retailers is to focus on provinces rather than countries, particularly when expanding into Asia: “Only four out of twenty eight Indian provinces are showing growth rates. It’s the same in China; you must research hard the province you are considering.”
He also recommends countries to look out for in the future: “the sub BRIC countries, those coming up from behind in the fast lane such as Vietnam and Mongolia. The Philippines is also coming down the track, Chile and Mexico and underrated, and the race is really on for Panama.”
Chris believes that in the long-term, Africa is also somewhere to consider, explaining: “There it’s all about commodities and not much about production”
Click here to read the article in full