Apr 4, 2018
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LDO bucks gloomy retail trend with Easter revenues up 16%

Apr 4, 2018

The London Designer Outlet has announced its 18th consecutive quarter of sales growth, shrugging off the jitters in the retail industry as high street retailers continued to struggle with footfall over the Easter weekend.

Photo: London Designer Outlet

The outlet centre said its diverse tenant mix, the appeal of experiential events and its ease of access helped it deliver a 16.2% year-on-year increase in total revenue during the four-day Easter weekend, from Good Friday to Easter Monday.

Notably, sales of sports goods and clothing were up by almost 30% compared with the same period last year, and the rainy weather contributed to a 59% surge in sales of outdoor clothing. Meanwhile, the timing of national payday before the weekend had a positive impact on spend per head, which was up 22.1% year-on-year.

Like-for-like revenue was up 14%, but the figure does not include the performance of new brands added to the line-up over the past 12 months. Converse, Vans, Dr. Martens, Tempur and Haribo have all opened new stores at the outlet centre over the last year.

Sue Shepherd, centre manager for LDO, highlighted the success of the centre since its opening in 2013. “Footfall is now 7 million per year, of which 51% is ABC1 and 84% is under 50 years old. Our average guest age is 32. For the growing residential and business community in Wembley Park, where some 6,000 new homes will be built by 2022, visitors from our affluent catchment, and many overseas tourists, people are finding LDO is London’s outlet of choice with aspirational and desirable brands at affordable prices with consistently good service,” she said.

Tax-free sales were up 32% for the 12 months to the end of March, supported by a series of initiatives to attract more tourists, such as introducing fluent foreign language speakers in Guest Relations and adding more Halal and vegetarian dining options.

LDO’s Easter performance contrasts with the wider UK retail sector, which saw footfall fall 2.4% on Good Friday and 3% on Saturday. It increased by a slight 0.7% on Easter Sunday, according to Springboard.

Retail parks and shopping centres are faring better than high street retailers, and outlet centres seem to be thriving in the face of declining discretionary spending.

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