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The Outlets are Coming, The Outlets are Coming!
The Canadian outlet market is seen by consumers, retailers and real estate developers as an untapped and underserved market. Many Canadians are quite familiar with the American-style high-end outlet malls through their cross border shopping junkets. Those centres typically have the leading designer and brand name manufacturers as the main allure for the aspirational consumers. Travel times and cost along with long border cross times are perceived to be worth the trouble of shopping in the US.

But the lack of lifestyle and designer brands in an outlet format in Canada is about to change. Over the next 2 years, the number of outlet centre platforms will double in size. The following retail projects are currently in the works for the Canadian marketplace:

Tanger/Riocan Tanger Outlets Kanata – 300K sq. ft. – Fall 2014 – 70 stores
Tanger Outlets Calloway Park – 350K sq. ft. – Fall 2015 – 80 stores
Tanger Outlets Heartland Mississauga – TBD

Ivanhoe Cambridge Outlet Collection at Niagara – 500K sq. ft. – May 2014 – 100 stores
Tsawwassen Mills – 1.2M sq. ft. – Spring 2016 – 16 anchors
Outlet Collection EIA – 350K sq. ft. – Fall 2016 – 85 stores

Simon/Calloway Montreal Premium Outlets – 370K sq. ft. – Fall 2014 – 80 stores
Toronto Premium Outlets – 400K sq. ft. – opened Fall 2013 – 80 stores

The new retailers to Canada scheduled to open outlet locations view this as an opportunity for growth through an alternative distribution channel in addition to the traditional shopping mall. Some of the new players include Chico's, Polo Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan, Kate Spade, Tory Birch, Burberry, Victorinox Swiss Army, White House Black Market and DKNY. For the price sensitive and value oriented consumer, this is seen as an opportunity to buy luxury designer and lifestyle brands at lower prices than conventional shopping malls, without the hassles of crossing the border.

Spring 2015 will also see the entry of a new outlet centre version in Canada. The Designer Outlet Centre will make its North American debut at the Sea Island section at Vancouver International Airport. The first phase will be 340,000 sq. ft. and will house 100 stores. The developer, McArthurGlen Group, has developed 21 centres in the UK and Europe with many close to international airports and tourist areas. With 17 million passengers passing through YVR each year, their strategy is to elevate the shopping experience through international luxury brands, designers and labels in a vibrant shopping environment, set in pedestrian friendly piazzas mingled with restaurants and cafes. It is truly intended to be the best of the best luxury shopping experience but in an outlet format. Some of McArthurGlen retailers are: Armani, Bottega Veneta, Bruno Magli, Bulgari, Faconnable, Fendi, La Perla, Versace, Prada, Moncler and many more.

Opulence, haute couture and the ultimate shopping experience will now be available at 30-70% off regular retail prices.

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