Serravalle expands to reach new heights in fashion

09 June 2015

Serravalle expands to reach new heights in fashion
  • The expansion will create around 550 new jobs, bringing the total number of people employed at Europe’s largest luxury designer outlet to around 2,200.
  • Europe’s largest luxury designer outlet currently includes international such as Burberry, Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo and Versace.
  • The centre’s success is linked to its popularity among international travellers as well as Milanese fashion lovers.
  • Tax-free sales have increased by 250% over the past five years.
  • This is the biggest investment in Serravalle since it was opened by McArthurGlen in 2000. 

Serravalle will expand to open a further 70 new stores, building on its position as one of Europe’s top fashion destinations, and a great-day out from nearby Milan. The existing centre will also be refurbished as part of the investment. There will be no disruption to the existing centre.

At €115mn, this is the largest investment in the centre since McArthurGlen, the Group that brought designer outlet retailing to Europe, opened Serravalle in 2000 as the first designer outlet in Italy. 

Since 2004 the centre has been owned by the European Outlet Mall Fund (EOMF), managed by TH Real Estate and in which McArthurGlen is also an investor.  McArthurGlen continues to be the centre’s development, leasing and managing agent.

This latest expansion has been made possible following the signing of a joint venture between EOMF and Aedes Commercial Properties Group.

Daniela Bricola, McArthurGlen Centre Manager, Serravalle Designer Outlet, says: “Serravalle Designer Outlet has become an international tourist destination. With this new investment, we will be creating an even higher level of excellence, just 50 minutes from the global city of Milan, and offering the over five million customers who visit the centre each year an even greater choice of the most loved names in fashion.” 

Alberto Carbone, Mayor of Serravalle Scrivia, says: “We welcome this new investment as a key driver for our local economy. Not only is the Designer Outlet one of the largest employers in the area, but it is one of the best known tourist destinations in Europe. Nestled between Liguria, Piedmont and Lombardy, our area is famous for wine, food, history and Serravalle Designer Outlet – one of the best fashion shopping destinations in Europe.”

McArthurGlen’s global tourism network works with more than 100 tourism partners worldwide, including leading airlines, tour operators, hotels as well as local and national tourism boards. In addition, McArthurGlen’s Sales & Marketing offices in China, Southeast Asia, South Korea, Russia and Brazil work to bring tourists to McArthurGlen's 21 Designer Outlets.

More than half of Serravalle’s sales (51%) are currently to intra-European and long-haul tourists. Tax-free sales, which account for just over a third of total sales, have increased by 250% over the past five years.

The centre is particularly popular with Chinese shoppers, sales to whom were up 45% in 2014 compared with the previous year. The centre has also welcomed increasing numbers of tourists from South Korea and Southeast Asia, in particular from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Daniela Bricola explains: “The international shoppers are particularly attracted by the top luxury names, and by the authenticity and ease of what is a premium shopping experience, with a full programme of events and activities, including our renowned annual Summer Music Festival.”

The more than 10 million residents who live within a 90-minute drive of the Designer Outlet are also a very important market. “We believe there is not only the potential to grow the tourism market, but that this is also an exciting time for people living locally,” says Daniela. 

The expansion will add a further 12,500m² of retail space in two phases (3,500m² + 9,000m²) to bring the total to 51,500m². Together with the refurbishment of the existing centre, works are due to start later this month [June], with a planned opening of the extension for autumn 2016.

Serravalle Designer Outlet is one of five McArthurGlen Designer Outlets in Italy. Since 2000, Europe’s leader in designer outlet retailing has also opened: Barberino (Florence), Castel Romano (Rome), Noventa di Piave (Venice) and La Reggia (Naples).

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