VANCOUVER: Retail Giant Returns
McArthurGlen has built more outlet retail space across Europe than any company. Now it has 10 outlet mall projects in the pipeline, including its return to North America with a project in Vancouver (and plenty more are on the way, considering Simon Property Group's $485M commitment to co-invest with McArthurGlen on future new builds). CEO Julia Calabrese tells us that nine of the current projects are in Europe, sticking it to the debt crisis there (we can hear Europe’s Monty Python impression now: “I’m not dead yet!”). The company (an outlet mall owner, developer, and operator) will now bring Venice to Vancouver with both the developer’s penchant for pleasing architecture, its relationships with European brands, and its rep for outstanding customer service, she says.
Of course, McArthurGlen never really left the Western Hemisphere. Rather, Cheryl McArthur and Alan Glen sold their 28 US outlet malls (many are now in Simon’s portfolio), and Joey Kaempfer bought the right to use the name in Europe, where the company owns 20 outlets across eight countries. The ground-up projects underway in Europe are in Provence, France; Ghent, Belgium; and Remscheid, Germany. Two expansions are in the works in the UK, two in Germany, and one each in Italy (Venice is above) and Austria.
The Vancouver project, above, is a JV with the Vancouver Airport Authority and the first part of Simon's commitment. That ground-up development will deliver in May 2015. Julia tells us the unrest around Russia has tempered tourism from that corner of the world, but European economic development agencies are working hard to draw Brazilian, Russian, Chinese, and other Asian tourists; then the operator steers them to its shopping centers. Sales and marketing reps based in each region work to put a visit on their travel itineraries before they even leave home.