The Outlet sector is one of the fastest growing, best performing and profitable sectors in the European retail marketplace and yet to date there has been no specific trade body. There has been very little information, research, understanding, press coverage or statistics for the sector. All this is about to change today with the launch of The European Outlet Retailer and Developers Association (ORDA), an organisation dedicated to the needs of the Outlet industry across the European retail marketplace.
Brendon O'Reilly, Director of GVA Outlets and a member of the ORDA Steering Group, explains: "Is there a retail sector that can show that across Europe they are currently seeing a growth in center density, sales, footfall, turnover and transactional value? The Outlet sector. There are currently over 150 Outlets across Europe, a further 30 in the pipeline for next year and the potential for a further 150 in the EU and a further 150 across Europe as a whole. Where are the headlines? There have been very few. The Outlet sector is an unsung hero and it is partly lack of understanding and lack of information, something that we as a sector need to take responsibility for and do something about."
He explains the need for a trade body for the sector: "ORDA has been set up by a small number of Outlet industry leaders aware of the need to move, what had started as a small and unknown area of the industry, into the forefront of the marketplace as it had now become a highly credible, constantly expanding and unique retail sector."
Brendon continues: "Over the past three year there has been a range of research and a steering group set up to look at what the industry wanted, the developers and retailers needs and how these could be met. We looked at any current provision for the Outlet sector including events such as the ICSC European Factory Outlet Conference every year and identified the gaps so that we could add to the existing activity rather than compete against it. The result is ORDA.
"ORDA is a trade body in development driven by the needs of the Outlet sector. We have started with a website which outlines who we are and what we are trying to do and calls for interested parties to note their interests. We will then use this to develop a membership package, an events programme and networking and best practice sharing opportunities. As well as that we will provide an information hub for the Outlet sector linking to current news, research and adding in some of our own commissioned reports and figures."
Other organisations involved in the Outlet sector are supporting this website including the International Outlet Journal, Ecostra/CBRE research, MAGDUS and International Council of Shopping Centres. Please go to the website for more details www.orda-outlets.com