McArthurGlen has opened Designer Outlet West Midlands - its seventh UK destination and 26th globally, following a £160m investment.
The launch of the new 285,000 sq ft destination at Cannock comes as non-essential stores re-open across England and marks McArthurGlen’s first UK opening in over 20 years.
Commenting on the launch, McArthurGlen co-chief executive officer Susie McCabe said: “This opening represents not only a huge milestone for McArthurGlen as we continue to grow our European footprint, but a defining moment for brick-and-mortar retail as the only stand-alone shopping centre to open in the UK this year.
“As we emerge into a new consumer landscape, we know customers still crave the extraordinary day-out shopping experiences and moments of magic that only physical retail can offer, and we remain extremely confident that West Midlands will deliver this.”
Located just 30-minutes from Birmingham, Designer Outlet West Midlands will offer up to 80 iconic brands in its first phase, with year-round savings of up to 60%.
Lifestyle brand GANT is one of the brands to have opened in the new development, with a new 2,100 sq ft contemporary store showcasing its range of menswear, womenswear, footwear and accessories.
Commenting on the opening, GANT manging director of Northern Europe Fergus Patterson said: “We are delighted to be opening a new GANT store within the Cannock development.
“Although we recognise the current and past challenges for retail stores, we believe that longer term and over time customers will return to enjoying the experience of physical in store shopping and we look forward to being a part of that.”
Other international brand partners include Coach, Kate Spade, Hugo Boss, Levi’s, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Calvin Klein, Ted Baker, Reiss, Kurt Geiger, Radley and Joules, while sportswear and athleisure brands include Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Asics and Skechers.
The centre also features a Beauty Outlet store offering discounted products from brands including W7, Rimmel London, Elizabeth Arden and Max Factor, while a new The Cosmetics Company Store selling premium makeup, fragrance and skincare products from over 30 Estee Lauder Companies’ brands will open in May.
The centre also features an array of food and beverage brands such as Wagamama, Starbucks and Five Guys, plus a children’s adventure playground and dancing fountain.
To help reduce its impact on the environment, the centre also features around 400 newly planted trees, along with solar panels, on-site beehives, a wormery, electric car charging points and bicycle parking.
It also provides direct access to the adjacent nature reserve and its network of footpaths, encouraging local customers to visit on foot.
A £15 million contribution to a highway improvements programme has enhanced the nearby road network, while a £1.5m package has supported local projects, including the ongoing maintenance of the Mill Green Nature Park.
“Designer Outlet West Midlands is an exceptional addition to Britain’s retail landscape and arrives at a time when the outlet sector continues to outperform the wider retail market.
“Investing in high quality designer outlets is in line with our core strategic objectives, so we’re looking forward to continuing to work closely with McArthurGlen to drive the performance of the centre and see it become one of the UK’s leading retail assets,” Aviva Investors director Darren Freed added.