Icon Outlet mall opens, is UK's first urban outlet
The Icon Outlet mall at the O2 in Greenwich has finally opened with a ‘soft debut’ on Thursday for O2 Priority exclusive access and a full opening at the weekend.
It's the first shopping experience at the world’s number one entertainment venue and is also London and the UK’s first urban outlet.
So it's something of a big deal. The 210,000 sq ft premium urban outlet was developed by AEG and Crosstree Real Estate Partners and features a futuristic design and a strong brand mix. Labels with stores at the mall include Cheaney Shoes (with its first-ever outlet), Aspinal of London as the most upmarket of the brands there, and a raft of middle-market-to-premium names such as Gant, James Lakeland, Hobbs, Kurt Geiger, G-Star Raw, Ted Baker, Guess, Jack Wills, Levi’s, Pepe Jeans London, Phase Eight, Cath Kidston, Gap, The Cosmetics Company Store, Lindt, Clarks, Karen Millen, Radley, and Osprey London.
Not all of the stores were open at the media preview, but these are expected to be up and running soon.
The offer is organised into a series of themes, “each reflecting consumer trends, and behaviour.” That means ‘Best of British’ that’s meant to offer quality and heritage; ‘Global fashion’ supplying premium brands from around the world; ‘Beauty and accessories’ that’s obviously for cosmetics and accessories; and ‘Sports and lifestyle’ offering athleisure.
Importantly too, complementing the retail offer, and reflecting its position inside The O2, the mall will also host a range of experience-led services, including personal shoppers and stylists, hands-free shopping, and unique event shopping packages.
Leasing Director Marion Dillon said it “truly merges retail, leisure, dining, and entertainment for the very first time” and “is the most relevant and exciting development to open in the capital for a number of years.”
Clearly, the mall has a strong chance of becoming a major success as all the ingredients for a success story seem to be in place. The brands are there and given that they're retailing at lower prices than in their regular stores, that adds an extra appealing edge to their offer. The mall also has easy transport links with tube, bus and even access by river and cable car. The massive number of people going through the North Greenwich tube and bus station on a daily basis serves up a captive audience in addition to those people who might travel there specifically for shopping.
Greenwich itself is expanding fast as a shopping destination and has many major brands not that far away. A giant Primark has opened in the South London suburb and a new Ikea is also being built there. And of course, it's impossible to ignore the footfall that's heading to the O2 itself. At the time of the media preview, crowds were flooding in for an ELO concert. And with the venue also hosting events targeting young consumers, business consumers, sports fans and more, there are plenty of potential customers for the brands to get their teeth into.
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