China’s international luxury outlet mall pioneer Florentia Village has opened major expansions of its Shanghai and Chengdu locations this month as the retail developer and operator rides a shopping resurgence on the mainland.
“Our openings in Chengdu and Shanghai this month are a natural next step for Florentia Village and for China’s shopping culture,” said Maurizio Lupi, CEO of Florentia Village and RDM Asia. “With more consumers recognising the value of top international brands and enjoying the benefits of a world-class retail environment, we expect more such openings as our company prospers together with China.”
With RDM Asia this year celebrating its tenth anniversary in China, Lupi and RDM Asia are seeing their decade-long investment in mainland China continue to show dividends as the country’s retail market rebounds. Mainland shoppers returned to their high-spending ways in 2021, as retail sales in China through the first seven months of 2021 were up by 8.5 percent over last year and by 7.2 over the same period in 2019, according to government statistics.
In addition to its Shanghai and Chengdu expansions happening this month, RDM Asia has raised more than $200 million for a new investment fund aimed at further expanding its outlet network in China and Southeast Asia.
More Space for Top Brands
Between them, Florentia Village Shanghai and Chengdu Phase II add nearly 60,000 square metres (646,000 square feet) of new space and close to 200 new shops to China’s largest chain of luxury outlets, with Lupi saying the expansion is just the latest step in a journey that the Italian firm started ten years ago with its first project in China.
“Our expansion in Shanghai brings our location in China’s commercial capital to over 70,000 square metres (753,500 square feet) and close to 300 stores,” said Jacopo De Vena, Managing Director of Florentia Village and RDM Asia. “Our experience in Shanghai and the strong support that Florentia Village has received from the local community gives us the confidence to create the largest outlet mall in the Yangtze River Delta.”
The second phase of the Shanghai project adds 27,000 square metres (290,625 square feet) of space to the existing location in Pudong New District, with about 110 new shops. In keeping with the company’s approach of providing “retail entertainment”, the project also includes a 2,000 square metre jungle-themed Family Entertainment Center — a concept that has proved successful at the company’s four outlets in Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu and Chongqing.
In sync with the Shanghai expansion, RDM Asia also opened phase two of Florentia Village Chengdu during September. The expansion in the capital of Sichuan province adds approximately 30,000 square metres (323,000 square feet) of retail space and 80 new brand stores, along with 3,500 parking spaces in total, to the Italian-designed and -managed property.
“Last year RDM Asia welcomed 20 million visitors to its seven outlets, which is proof that our company’s decade of experience in China has been well received,” Lupi said. “With these new expansions in Shanghai and Chengdu, we are ready to grow still further in China and beyond.”
With China having successfully tamed the pandemic, mainland shoppers have returned to the country’s malls this year, with luxury groups including LVMH and Kering all reporting solid results in recent months supported by sales in Asia.
Expanding in China and SE Asia
After setting up its first outlet mall in China in 2011, Jacopo Mazzei, Executive Chairman of RDM, now expects RDM Asia’s sales to reach more than $1.8 billion this year. And with the company having raised $200 million for its Silk Road 2 fund, it sees opportunities to grow through acquisitions, and by development in new markets.
“RDM has a pair of major acquisitions on the way in China,” Mazzei said. Both projects are existing shopping centres that the company is ready to reposition as Florentia Village assets.
In addition to the China acquisitions, RDM Asia has a Florentia Village project in progress outside of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, which it plans to open during 2022 for its first development outside of Greater China.
While Vietnam’s retail market is still maturing, the sector has become a major target for international investors, with a consortium including Alibaba and Baring Private Equity Asia having recently invested $400 million for a stake in the retail division of Vietnamese conglomerate Masan.
Official website: www.florentiavillage.com