FASHION HOUSE Development, successor of The Outlet Company, and a partnership of GVA Grimley Outlet Services and Liebrecht & Wood, have completed the acquisition of their first Outlet plot in Russia.
A Fashion House Outlet in Warsaw.
For its Moscow project, FASHION HOUSE Development partnered with the Moscow development firm GVA Sawyer, who'll serve as the local developer of the project, and who have also invested equity capital alongside the Liebrecht & Wood Investment Fund.
Brendon O'Reilly, Director, GVA Grimley Outlet Services and FASHION HOUSE Development, explains: 'Currently Russia has no Outlets and yet there is the potential for at least 20 based on population, brand awareness and potential spend. Interestingly the original drive for us to look into this market came from our existing tenants who are desperate to move into these areas. We work as a partner with our tenants and wanted to look into meeting this need. FASHION HOUSE Development was the ideal vehicle to move this forward.'
Neil Thompson, CEO of FASHION HOUSE Development adds: 'This is a new and exciting marketplace that we feel is ready for the FASHION HOUSE branded Outlet offer. As Brendon mentioned, there is high brand awareness amongst consumers who have money to spend, extremely high demand from our current tenants wanting to move into this market and a good number of investors with Outlet experience looking to come on board. FASHION HOUSE Development has the experience and expertise to be the first to go into this emerging market. FASHION HOUSE Outlet Centre Moscow is our first of many in Russia. Currently we are looking into a further sixteen cities with the hope to secure future plots.'
Cameron Sawyer, Chairman of GVA Sawyer, commented: 'This project, located next to Sheremetyevo International Airport, on the main highway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg, just outside of the Moscow city limits, was originally conceived as an Outlet mall, which the Russian retail market so obviously and desperately needs.'
He adds: 'We have found the perfect partners in FASHION HOUSE Development, who we believe are the strongest Outlet sector team in CEE. As the first Outlet in Russia, this project will make history in this marketplace, and we hope will the first of many more to come. The fact that we were able to close this deal despite the onset of the economic slow down is a really positive sign and has given us an excellent foundation for achieving market dominance in this exciting sector in the Russian retail market.'
Patrick Van Den Bossche, co-founder Liebrecht & Wood and FASHION HOUSE Development adds: 'The money for this project was raised through private equity by the Liebrecht & Wood Investment Fund and this is the first of three plots we have the funding in place for in the Ukraine and Russia. The further two plots are currently being finalised.'
The FASHION HOUSE Outlet Centre portfolio currently includes three successful Outlet centres in Poland and the newly opened FASHION HOUSE Outlet Centre Bucharest which opened at the end of 2008, which has already seen a record number of visitors over the first six weeks trading. The Moscow site will be