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London Designer Outlet hits early footfall goals

Retailers saw a successful launch of London’s first designer outlet centre, with more than 21,500 shoppers visiting on the first day.

About 86,000 people visited London Designer Outlet in Wembley on its first four days of trading. Developer Quintain has forecast 8 million visitors a year and claimed a number of fashion retailers had beaten their opening sales targets.

Half of the centre’s 70 stores launched at the 350,000 sq ft development last week (October 24), with the remainder due to open in the spring. There will also be 15 restaurants and a cinema complex.

The centre is now just over 80% let, with more fashion retailers in discussions about taking units. It is thought these will be in line with the existing mix of high street names such as Marks & Spencer and Gap, alongside young fashion retailers such as Superdry.

Kenny Edwards, store manager at the Nike outlet shop, said the chance to open in a London outlet centre was “too good to pass up”.

“You would never know this was a discount shop. We have full control of the presentation and nothing about the technology of the product is lost. We expect the store to do amazingly well in the run-up to Christmas; given the location the potential is limitless,” he said.

Aldo Manfreda, store manager at underwear retailer Björn Borg, agreed. “There is a lot of sympathy between the stores and management as everyone is tied to the success of everyone else; we’re all working together to make it work. The store’s position beside the stadium should ensure good footfall and the finish of the development is key.”

James Saunders, chief operating officer at Quintain, said: “In the coming weeks and months we have England games, NFL matches and The X Factor finals taking place [at Wembley]. It’s our opportunity to harness those different audiences.”

He added it would also serve local residents, noting “the catchment area is very big and was poorly served in terms of retail”.

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