Estonia's first retail outlet center attracts top brands (EE)

Well over 40% of space in Estonia's first outlet center, Tallinn Outlet at Tallinn Park is under offer nearly 12 months before the center opens. Timberland, Puma, Champion, NIKE, CROCS and Levi's are just some of the international brands leading the charge into this untapped new market for outlet retailing.

Tallinn Outlet, Tallinn, Estonia

When complete, Tallinn Park will offer shops, restaurants and cafes around a specially built landscaped lake.

The 11,500 m² Tallinn Outlet, due to open late summer 2013, is the first phase of the larger Tallinn Park being built by Suda Maja, one of the Baltic States long established developers.

The outlet center will open alongside a Hypermarket operated by ETK, Estonia's largest food and grocery retail group, which has close to 400 stores across the country. Additionally, Sportland, a multi-brand sports retailer with outlets throughout the Baltic States, will open a new concept store XXL, the first in the region.

When complete, Tallinn Park will offer shops, restaurants and cafes around a specially built landscaped lake that could also be used as an ice rink during the winter months.

The outlet center is likely to attract around 2 million visitors a year, according to Suda Maja's research. Estonia's capital city is the region's number one tourist destination with nearly 3 million tourists arriving in Tallinn every year.

Estonia is listed as a 'high income economy' and is the most buoyant of the Baltic States with a low level of public debt and recent membership of the OECD.

Veiko Murruste, Chairman of Suda Maja, said: "Estonia has a developed retail market but no outlet center offer, and in a brand conscious environment where apparel and footwear are expensive, this scheme will be enthusiastically welcomed by tourists and many of the half a million people who live within a 30 minute drive of Tallinn Outlet."

Leasing Agents Rohleder Lumby retail and Berlin based SJ International report a brisk response to their marketing campaign.

Simon Rohleder said: "This is one of the few remaining capital cities where no new outlet center exists, so it's no surprise there is significant interest in this project. Estonia has a growing tourism industry, drawn by its rich political and cultural heritage alongside a dynamic business sector, particularly in electronic communications."

Estonia's GDP increased by 8.5% in the first quarter of 2012 the highest in the European Union. Unemployment has dropped from over 18% to under 14%, debt is just 6.6% of GDP, again the lowest in Europe. Total retail sales rose 2% month-on-month in July, showing an increase of 6% compared with the same month a year ago, according to official figures.

Source: Nicky Godding

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