EASTER DELIGHT AT LONDON DESIGNER OUTLET

  • 18th consecutive quarter of sales growth at LDO
  • Total revenue climbed by +16.2%, year-on-year
  • Like-for-like revenue was up +14.0%, YoY

London’s original outlet centre beat the bad weather with strong trading over the Easter weekend, helping London Designer Outlet (LDO) to achieve its 18th consecutive quarter of sales growth. The results demonstrate the continued resilience of outlet shopping compared to other retail sectors. Wembley Park’s LDO, the capital’s leading fashion and lifestyle outlet centre, benefited from its impressive tenant mix, the appeal of experiential events and its ease of access.

LDO is a premium retail and leisure destination that offers aspirational and desirable brands at up to 70% off RRP throughout the year. Visitors are attracted by the appeal of major retail names, a wide range of popular casual dining restaurants and coffee shops and LDO’s easy-to-get-to location. Minutes from central London, it is served by three Tube lines, two train lines, eight bus routes and has ample onsite car parking.  Normally just £1 an hour, parking over the Easter weekend was free for the first three hours, while LDO shoppers travelling by Tube could take advantage of a luxury free shuttle service to and from the outlet centre.

For the four-day Easter Weekend, from Good Friday 30 March to Easter Monday 02 April, inclusive, total revenue climbed by +16.2%, year-on-year. Most notably, sales of sports goods and clothing rose +29.9%, YoY and, unsurprisingly given the weather, sales of outdoor clothing rose by +59%, YoY. Spend per head also grew, climbing +22.1%, YoY, helped by the timing of pay day.

Like-for-like revenue was up +14%, YoY, when new brands added over the past 12 months are excluded. Lettings throughout the year show the interest in LDO by well-known retailers, maintaining occupancy consistently above 98%. Converse opened its first UK store at LDO, HARIBO launched its first UK outlet store, as well as Vans, Dr. Martens and Tempur joining the line-up.

Sue Shepherd, Realm’s Centre Manager for LDO, said: “Since opening over four years ago, in October 2013, we have created a proven track record of success. We have grown our sales every quarter since opening. Footfall is now 7 million per year, of which 51% is ABC1 and 84% is under 50 years old. Our average guest age is 32. For the growing residential and business community in Wembley Park, where some 6,000 new homes will be built by 2022, visitors from our affluent catchment, and many overseas tourists, people are finding LDO is London’s outlet of choice with aspirational and desirable brands at affordable prices with consistently good service.”

Trading was further bolstered by experiential Easter events with wide appeal. Live musical acts emphasised the international appeal that makes LDO an important part of many tourists’ trips to the UK’s capital city. Despite the indifferent weather, a steel band, Mexican Mariachi band, Jazz and Latin duos, plus classic Cockney singalongs added to the holiday atmosphere. And to surprise and delight guests, thousands of freebies were handed out at random, including LDO gift cards, extra discount vouchers, free car valets and chocolate Lindt bunnies.

Tax-free sales rose +32%, YoY, for the 12 months to the end of March. Of the visitors from outside the EU, some 18% were Chinese, including from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Reflecting the diversity of guests, LDO has embraced several cultural initiatives, from fluent foreign language speakers in Guest Relations to Halal and vegetarian dining options in LDO’s many restaurants and coffee shops. Additionally, LDO is one of the first places in Britain to offer tax-free refunds onsite to save travellers queuing at an airport for their VAT refunds.

LDO is owned by Quintain and managed by Realm, the UK’s specialist outlet operator.

Quintain unveiled an ambitious vision in March for the retail and leisure attractions at its £3bn Wembley Park transformation, one of Europe’s largest urban regeneration projects. Independent shops and restaurants to complement the LDO offer, spaces for start-ups and artists’ studios and imaginative use of social spaces are at the core of these plans.

Retailers at LDO include Europe’s top Guess outlet store, one of Nike’s top three outlet stores in Europe, the UK’s best performing Gap Outlet, and fastest-growing M&S Outlet. Its premium fashion, athleisure and lifestyle names also include Kurt Geiger, Superdry, Adidas, Next, Lee Wrangler, Clarks, Phase Eight, The North Face, Jack Wills, Villeroy & Boch and Hamleys.

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