Rioja Estates and TORG International join forces on new developments
With outlet centres continuing to be one of the most buoyant retail destination types, it’s interesting that Sweden’s TORG International has forged an alliance with leading UK outlet developer Rioja Estates.
They’re joining forces on two new outlet developments in Sweden and the UK and are now jointly leasing Malmö Designer Village and Grantham Designer Outlet Village.
They said it’s “a next step in [a] determined effort to bring outlets to emerging and unsaturated markets” and that the link-up positions the partners as one of the largest independent outlet developers in the UK/European market and beyond.
The Malmö and Grantham developments were already under way on the part of Rioja, but TORG’s partner for development and leasing Robert van den Heuvel said the two firms connected at Mapic 2021. They established the new collaboration with van den Heuvel adding that TORG has known the team at Rioja (under Giles Membrey) for many years and was “impressed by the quality of their two latest developments in Sweden and the UK”.
Barbara Horatz, marketing and retail partner at the Swedish firm, added: “We feel that both developments meet all the key criteria for a successful future outlet — strategic location on a major motorway axis, important catchment, strong tourism potential, significant size, qualitative and sustainable architecture. There are not many strategic spots left in Europe for outlet developments and we definitely consider Malmö and Grantham as two of them.”
Both schemes have planning consent with Grantham under construction and set to open in Autumn 2023, while Malmö is planning an opening in Summer 2025.
That latter is targeting both Swedish and Danish consumers in its catchment area and “is aiming to become the #1 outlet in Scandinavia”, also being “expected to rank in the top 25% of outlet centres in Europe in terms of traffic and is predicted to generate above average sales densities”.
Grantham, meanwhile, is projected to attract 3.5million visitors annually and has “a lack of retail competition in the immediate area” so it should “achieve a significantly greater penetration of its catchment than the UK outlet industry average of 3%, namely for Phase One 7.7% and for Phase Two 8.5%”.
Rioja’s Membrey said: “We see Malmö and Grantham as the beginning of a great collaboration for our two companies — there are many more opportunities for joint outlet developments that we see ahead of us and that we are already discussing, be it in Europe or in any of the other major markets globally.”
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