The time of cheesy products and junky ambiance are over! Only eight months after British investor Henderson Global Investors and center developer McArthur Glen placed the first stones in place for their new designer outlet in October 2008 in Wustermark, close to Berlin, the first part of the area with about 7,500 sq. meters and 40 labels including Ecko, Adidas, Nike, Tom Tailor, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, Strenesse and St.Emile was officially opened on June 18.

Completion of the second construction phase in summer 2010 should result in a revamp of the former B5 outlet center and an expansion by another 9,000 sq. meters and up to more than 60 new labels.

Some of the former B5 outlet tenants such as Adidas, Nike or Tommy Hilfiger have relocated to the new center. “The brand portfolio before at B5 didn’t attract many people. According to this great brand portfolio and high-quality outlet concept, we will be able to reach out to more customers and different target groups. We expanded our space from 335 sq. meters to 420 sq. meters to extend different segments like tailored, children and denim. Instead of PVC floors and plug-in system displays, the new store interior was realized according to the original premium full-price stores,“ said Nancy Bierwagen, a store manager for Tommy Hilfiger at the outlet.

McArthur Glen Group currently has about 17 outlet centers in its portfolio. The new designer outlet Berlin is McArthur Glen’s first German project.

“In view of its size and importance , the German market is very attractive to this unique designer outlet concept. Regarding Europe’s turnover, Germany is the biggest market for fashion retail. Particularly in those economically tough times, consumers look after their money without aiming to change their brand awareness. The concept to sell premium labels for affordable prices is striking“, says J.W. Kempfer, Chairman of McArthur Glen Group.

In 2009, the group will open two more outlets in Salzburg and Neapel, and are already planning on projects in Athen and Hamburg.

—Karin Leiberg