Factory Outlet Centres in Europe – Germany is catching up quickly!
The market for factory outlet centres in Europe is still increasing at a constant rate, despite a relatively high density. In Germany FOCs are booming.
Currently there are around eleven FOCs and an additional ten are in the pipeline. Considering Germany’s population of close to 81 million, the number of FOCs is rather low. This however, is going to change soon. Nordrhein-Westfalen has a rather high potential for factory outlet centres, as the population density in that part of Germany is the highest. At the moment there are around fife new FOC projects in the pipeline for that region.
In the UK on the contrary, there is a market saturation concerning FOCs. Therefore, only the best located and high-selling outlet centres survive, while all the others close down. The FOC density in the UK at the moment amounts to 10m2 per 1000 inhabitants. Italy has experienced a quite big development and currently has 28 FOC with roughly seven more in the pipeline. Alongside the UK and Italy, France is also part of the European Top 3 with six new outlet centres in the pipeline.
Due to the unique operating format, the appropriate location and the low prices FOCs are more resistant regarding economic instability compared to any other commercial form. Moreover, outlet centres are less affected by the online shopping trend, as they stand out with a strong brand presence. The future of FOCs can only be predicted very vaguely, however experience indicates that saturated FOC markets will have consequences much like in the UK: for every newly opened outlet centre, another one will close down.