The 88 million euro outlet will employ 400 people.
Laying the foundation stone later today will mark the beginning of construction works on Designer Outlet Croatia, a joint venture between Ikea Centers and Swiss Mutschler Outlet Holding AG. Poslovni.hr spoke to Thomas Reichenauer, CEO of ROS Retail Outlet Shopping, which will manage the future largest outlet in Croatia.
What will make your outlet different than other outlets in Croatia?
Designer Outlet Croatia will offer designer, fashion and lifestyle brands with 30 to 70% discounts throughout the year. A combination of a hypermarket, retail park, gas station, two fast food chains and the proximity of Ikea Zagreb will make it a unique shopping destination in Croatia. The outlet architecture will also be unique, inspired by different Croatian regions, and it will be one of the first retail outlets in Croatia with an international BREEAM certificate for green building. We are especially proud of the fact that there will be a market where products from family farms, primarily from Rugvice, within the outlet.
How many stores can we expect?
The plan is to build in two phases, after which 150 stores will be operating on a 25,000 square metre area. Another 30,000 square meters will be used for extra facilities, so after the second phase of construction, this unique complex at the eastern entrance to Zagreb will stretch to 93,000 square meters, including Ikea Zagreb.
When will it open?
In the spring of 2018, after the completion of the first construction phase. About 90 shops, a gas station and a fast food chain will be available to visitors at that point.
What is the investment value and how many employees will work at the outlet?
A total of 88 million euros will be invested in the two construction phases, and more than 400 jobs will be opened after the first phase. In the second phase, which will cost 21 million euros, we will add additional premium brands in 60 new stores and additional content such as a hypermarket and a DIY area.
You have top references in managing various outlets in Europe. Which ones are you particularly proud of?
Our seven design outlets are currently located in Germany, Poland, Italy and Hungary and all of them are doing very well. We are working on developing a number of projects, including Designer Outlet Zaragoza, City Outlet Wuppertal, Fashion Outlet Kraków, Home & Design Outlet Santhià and City Outlets Paris. We are particularly proud of the Designer Outlet Soltau, which opened five years ago and received an award for the best quality service in the category of lifestyle, which was awarded by the independent German Quality Service Institute (Deutsches Institut für Service-Qualität).
What are your expectations for the Croatian market? The typical outlets didn’t seem to have justified consumer expectations in Croatia.
Designer Outlet Croatia will be built at one of the busiest locations in Croatia, where over 50,000 vehicles pass daily. We believe that we will attract the citizens of neighbouring countries and numerous tourists as well.
How much profit and how many visitors do you expect in the first year of business?
We estimate that the outlet will attract a few million visitors annually. In addition to 70% cheaper prices than the recommended retail price, the outlet will also have a loyalty card and the members will have a number of advantages.
Translation from the original at Poslovni.hr.