VIA Outlets reopens entire 11-centre portfolio after Covid-19 closures
VIA Outlets has now reopened all 11 of its premium fashion outlets across Europe after the Zyweibrücken Fashion Outlet in Germany opened its doors to the public on Friday.
With the exception of Hede Fashion Outlet in Gothenburg, all of VIA Outlets’ centres were partially or completely closed for the majority of the period from December to May due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Otto Ambagtsheer, chief executive of VIA Outlets, said: “The business has worked tirelessly to ensure an efficient return to normal trading right across our European portfolio – and we’re delighted we have all our eleven centres open again after months of closure. We are already seeing spend per visitor outperform 2019 numbers in all centres, all double digit growth, some by as much as 40% – a true testament of so-called ‘revenge shopping’. With vaccine programmes now picking up speed across Europe, we are hopefully near the end of this crisis and are feeling highly confident about the future – and we are even seeing positive signs of tourism rebounding in locations such as Mallorca Fashion Outlet.”
During the closed periods, VIA Outlets worked with brands to allow customers to shop from home by setting up private shopping appointments via WhatsApp, Skype or Teams. This enabled shoppers to speak directly with a sales assistant to see products in-store or via a digital catalogue. Purchases could then be picked up in-store or delivered directly to the customer’s door.
It also trialled and launched a dedicated “Plan and Shop” platform in the Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet in Amsterdam to enable shoppers to plan their visits to stores in advance. This was in response to the Dutch authorities requiring customers to book visits a minimum of four hours ahead.
VIA Outlets has welcomed a number of new brands to its portfolio in recent months. This has included Toni Sailer and Windsor opening new stores in the Landquart Fashion Outlet in Switzerland, Lyle & Scott choosing the Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet for its first European outlet store, Karl Lagerfeld launching in the Mallorca Fashion Outlet, Hugo Boss opening in Zweibrücken Fashion Outlet and Roberto Cavalli launching two stores in Batavia Stad and Zweibrücken respectively. In addition, Fila has chosen Freeport Lisboa Fashion Outlet for its first mono-brand outlet in Europe, whilst Vans has opened its largest outlet store in Iberia there.
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