Factory outlet center projects: Germany is the European champion!

Published: 06 July 2016
The factory outlet center industry remains exciting. There are significant differences throughout Europe with respect to the development and number of factory outlet centers: Following a period of intense expansion in the CEE region during the past few years, the focus of many projects is now shifting back to the FOC heartlands of the United Kingdom, France, and Italy – and straggler Germany is quickly catching up. Germany is now the country with the most planned FOC projects in all of Europe. A total of eight new FOC projects are scheduled for the next three years, including this year’s expansion of the Seemaxx center in Radolfzell. Most of the projects are planned in the cities of North Rhine-Westphalia, where population density is highest.
A period of strong expansion was expected also in the Baltic States, but it appears that especially Estonia has jammed on the brakes. Although four projects had been planned for the next four years, only the Gate Outlet Talinn in Harjumaa has held up. However, with a planned GLA of 12,000 m², it is to be the largest project in the Baltics.
The FOC industry appears to be taking a rest also in Austria, Romania, and Switzerland. In Austria only three expansions are planned, and in Switzerland only one fashion outlet is set to open in 2017 in Wigoltingen. Project development is most reserved in Romania, where like in Estonia, four projects had been planned last year, of which all are now considered very unlikely to be realized.
As in the previous year, most new FOC retail area will be developed in Germany, France, England, and Italy. In terms of area, France comes in at first place with a total planned GLA of 115,000 m². This area is to be split between five factory outlet centers over the next two years. The largest of these will be constructed in Villefontaine in 2017, with some 24,000 m².

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