The Futura Park Krakow retail park began operating on 19 October 2011 in Modlniczka near Krakow. The 44,000 m² complex for the first time combines an outlet centre with 120 stores and a traditional retail park with 20 stores and service points. Spanish company Neinver invested €76m in the centre, which is located near the A4 motorway and includes 1,400 parking spaces.
Neinver intends to open two more outlet centres in Poland in the coming years. In 2012 it will launch the 14,000 m² Factory Annopol centre in Warsaw, which will cost €35m, while in 2013 the 18,000 m² Factory Szczecin centre will open. The latter will cost €38m.
Notable establishments opened in Futura Park Krakow include a 2,100 m² Alma delicatessen, the chain’s third opening this year, a 2,500 m² Smyk Megastore and the first Lovit super premium ice cream stand launched by the Gastromall group.
Neinver currently has Factory outlet centres in Warsaw, Wroclaw and Poznan, as well as a Futura retail park in Wroclaw and the Galeria Malta retail-entertainment centre in Poznan. The complexes have a combined gross leasable area (GLA) of over 114,000 m². The investor is also working on its largest project in the country, i.e. the revamping of the Katowice train station, which will include a retail-office complex. The company also operates in Spain, Germany, France, Italy and Portugal.
Currently, most renowned brands have their own factory outlets or boutiques at outlet centres. Outlet stores sell end-of-season merchandise that failed to sell during special sales and promotions, which allows them to offer prices that are 30%-80% lower than at branded retail stores.
For large chains this makes business sense. Otherwise they would have to keep unsold items in stock, which is costly. It is much better and more profitable to sell them at a lower price. Outlet stores (particularly multibrand outlets) are typically located on the outskirts of urban areas, whereas traditional branded stores are concentrated in high streets and shopping centres. Outlet stores also differ from regular retail stores in their product mix. That is why outlet stores are not in direct competition with their high street counterparts.
Even so, the offering of outlet stores in Poland remains different from their equivalents in other countries. Polish outlet stores are dominated by merchandise from the middle price segment, whereas the most expensive luxury brands, such as Coco Chanel, Gucci or Armani, are relatively few.
Outlet centres offering branded clothes at 30-80% off their retail prices have become an attractive alternative in hard times, as customers look for opportunities to save money. Small wonder that the segment is expanding and shopper numbers are growing.