YVR and McArthurGlen begin work on luxury off-airport outlet

By Kevin Rozario |

Site preparation work has begun for an off-airport luxury designer outlet on land belonging to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) where brands such as Armani, Burberry, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Prada and Ralph Lauren are hoped to be signed up by 2014.

 

Vancouver Airport Authority, the operator of the western Canadian gateway, is working in joint venture with London-based developer McArthurGlen Group, the European designer outlets mall specialist, on the scheme whose stores will be located five minutes away from YVR’s main terminal. Chinese travellers are expected to be a prime target.

 

“Already we are seeing very strong interest from our brand partners to open at the centre,” claims Gary Bond (left), McArthurGlen’s Managing Director of Development. The company – which also has a specialist division called McArthurGlen Luxury Retail for managing full-price retail outlets in key travel locations – believes that Vancouver combines a good location, economic strength and tourism potential for its debut into the North American market.

 

A spokesperson for VAA tells TRBusiness: “The outlet centre will not be duty-free but we are working in conjunction with McArthurGlen to look into a number of services for passengers including a luggage storage facility within the outlet and shipping services available for purchases made there.”

 

Larry Berg (right), President and CEO of VAA, adds: “This is an exciting project that will increase the region’s destination appeal for visiting travellers and encourage local shoppers to spend within their own community.”

 

CHINESE EXPANSION

The preparation work on Sea Island, on which YVR sits, started this summer and the first phase of the development is scheduled to open in autumn 2014. It will create an estimated 1,000 new jobs and is the first major retail project outside the airport’s terminals which house more than 160 existing shops and services.

 

YVR is Canada’s second busiest airport, serving 17 million passengers in 2011 through 63 airlines and more than 100 destinations. In June this year it began North America’s first direct flight to China’s interior on Sichuan Airlines’ Chengdu-Shenyang-Vancouver service. Those two cities in the provinces of Sichuan and Liaoning respectively have populations of 14 million and 8.1 million.

 

YVR markets itself as the closest major North American airport to Asia and it has more frequencies to China than any other airport on the continent, a development that is strongly supported by the Canadian government which gave Approved Destination Status to China two years ago.

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