The COVID-19 pandemic put a dent in China’s transformation to a consumption-driven economy last year, but the slowdown in the country’s retail market has not deterred the expansion of luxury mall developer Florentia Village.
The outlet mall specialist opened its seventh Greater China location on February 3rd when it debuted its Chongqing outlet before the spring festival holiday, giving its Italian parent firm RDM its second location in southwestern China.
With 37,000 square metres (398,265 square feet) of leaseable shop space in its first phase, the luxury shopping destination is poised to bring global fashion brands to one of China’s fastest-growing economic hubs after Florentia Village’s three-year-old location in nearby Chengdu.
Bringing Global Designers to Chongqing
Florentia Village Chongqing will bring more than 100 designer shops in its first phase to its location in the metropolis of more than 30.5 million people, where the group’s approach of offering global designer goods at ongoing discounts of up to 80 percent is projected to replicate the success of Florentia Village’s locations in Chengdu and other cities.
The project, which covers a total construction area of over 60,000 square metres (645,835 square feet), will offer local residents and visitors access to brands from Europe, United States, and Asia including Furla, Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Ports, Brooks Brothers, I.T, Tommy Hilfiger, Agatha, Adidas, Under Armour, New Balance, Puma, Vans, Skechers, Asics, and Sasa.
Based on RDM’s experience in China, where it now manages a combined leasing area of 300,000 square metres across its properties, the company projects that Florentia Village Chongqing will attract 800,000 visitors this year, with those guests expected to spend around $77.2 million.
During 2020, despite nationwide restrictions during the first quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic, Florentia Village’s outlet in Chengdu saw its visitor total for the full year rise by 25 percent, compared to the prior 12 month period, to reach 2.5 million people. During last year the location in Chengdu, which at 16.33 million has just over half of Chongqing’s population, rang up $123.5 million in sales – an increase of 78 percent over 2019.
Shoppers Defy Pandemic
Last year’s performance for Florentia Village’s Chengdu location is in line with southwestern China’s status as a major growth hub for the country, which saw economic expansion and growth after recovering from the early shocks of the pandemic.
In Chongqing, the gross domestic product grew by 3.9 percent for the full year of 2020, with retail sales of consumer goods expanding by 1.3 percent, according to official government statistics.
As 2020 progressed, retail sales of consumer goods in Chongqing quickly bounced back with third quarter statistics showing 8.3 percent growth over the same period in 2019. Country-wide, retail sales in China grew steadily last year after the lock-down period ended in March.
While the COVID-19 pandemic was the biggest challenge that Florentia Village had faced in China, the company saw its investment in omni-channel platforms and e-commerce pay off as online sales grew by 500 percent in the early part of 2020.
In addition, the total portfolio of Florentia Village offline locations achieved close to $1.54 billion sales and saw 19 million visitors in 2020.
This year marks 10 years since Florentia Village was first introduced to China market. The company rapidly expanded its business and now has total of seven locations in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Hong Kong, in addition to its Tianjin, Chengdu and Chongqing stores.
Florentia Village development is backed by major institutional investors as it completes its pipeline with the seventh outlet location. A joint venture backed by Nuveen Real Estate, Hong Kong Gaw Capital, Fingen Group, and Waitex has helped boost the company’s footprint across Greater China, including a new pipeline to be disclosed in the second half of the year.
Besides opening in Chongqing, this year Florentia Village is expanding its existing locations in Shanghai and Chengdu as it continues to target value-conscious mainland China luxury shoppers and maintains its position as leading international luxury designer outlet in China. The Florentia Village Shanghai Phase II project targets to open in the middle of this year with total construction area of around 27,000 square meters (290,626 square feet), accommodating 120 new stores; while the Chengdu Phase II project is expected to be open in the fourth quarter with a construction area of around 30,000 square meters (322,917 square feet) and approximately 100 new brand stores.
About FlORENTIA VILLAGE
Florentia Village is China’s renowned Italian designer outlet under the Italian real estate development group, RDM. Florentia Village was first launched in 2011 and currently has a total of seven outlets across Greater China, located in Hong Kong, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu and Chongqing. The outlets’ distinctive Italian architecture recalls Florence, Rome and the Renaissance Age by combing plazas, galleries, fountains and monumental buildings to deliver a one of a kind shopping environment. Florentia Village carries over 300 renowned brands from Europe, United States and Asia at a year-round discount of up to 80% off.
Through RDM’s extensive network of contacts within the global retail community, the stores are leased to the most prestigious luxury fashion brands. To date, Florentia Village has achieved a combined total leasing area of 300,000m2, a total of 1,200 shops, and has attracted close to 20 million visitors annually. As the leading international designer outlet in Asia, Florentia Village brings an unparalleled Italian style and shopping experience to the region.
Official website: www.florentiavillage.com