The recently opened outlet shopping mall at Vancouver International Airport is receiving some international attention: McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver in Richmond has won the title of the ‘best outlet centre in the world’.
The awards were presented last month at MAPIC, an annual international retail property conference that attracted 8,000+ delegates from the retail property industry, 2,000+ retailers, 470 brands, and 700 exhibiting companies from 74 countries. This year’s event was held in Cannes, France.
Other awards at MAPIC included the best redeveloped shopping centre (Alegro Setubal in Lisbon, Portugal), best retail urban project (Markthal in Rotterdam, Netherlands), and best new shopping centre (Milaneo in Stuggart, Germany).
A spokesperson with MAPIC did not respond to a request for comment on why McArthurGlen’s Vancouver property is the best outlet centre in the world. However, the mall has been a massive success since its opening on July 9.
Approximately 160,000 people visited the mall during the four day opening weekend, making it the most successful McArthurGlen centre opening in the world. By early-October, the mall recorded 600,000 people, which is 66 per cent higher than original estimates.
Location and accessibility are the driving factors of the mall’s success. McArthurGlen’s 20 other global properties are all located in rural European areas, but the Sea Island mall is located within close proximity to a major metropolitan area’s downtown core and is immediately adjacent to rail rapid transit – the SkyTrain Canada Line’s Templeton Station. It is estimated that approximately 40 per cent of the mall’s traffic is made from SkyTrain.
Currently, approximately 50 stores occupy two-thirds of the mall’s 240,000 square feet of available retail space. More tenants will be announced over the coming year.
A future second phase, possibly by 2017, will extend the mall’s footprint towards the Arthur Laing Bridge. It will add another 140,000 square feet with space for about 50 stores, depending on the final configuration.
Revenue from McArthurGlen’s operations on land managed by the Vancouver Airport Authority help fund the airport’s capital projects and operational costs, thereby reducing the pressure to raise user fees for passengers and airlines.