Outlet Retail at London Music Venue
American-owned sports and entertainment specialist AEG Europe plans to add a luxury outlet retail venue to its famous London arena, The O2. The venture will be undertaken in conjunction with British property company Land Securities. While the project is still a work in progress, plans have already been approved for 230,000 sq ft of space on the ground and upper levels of the arena (originally designated for a casino) to be converted into retail space.
Located in south-east London, a currently unused section of the venue formerly known as the Millennium Dome will be transformed into a sought-after retail destination housing more than 100 stores selling designer goods at discounted prices.
The developers have expressed an aim to attract luxury brands such as Dior, Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana – indicating that the space could pose competition to existing outlet groups such as Value Retail, owners of the popular Bicester Village site based just outside London. Bicester currently attracts thousands of wealthy foreign tourists each year.
The O2 is already home to a 20,000-capacity indoor arena, hosting huge concerts for artists and bands such as Fleetwood Mac and Beyoncé, as well as a nightclub, exhibition space, restaurants and bars. The addition of the retail space is expected to draw more visitors to the venue during the daytime and bolster its reputation as a multi-purpose leisure destination. The launch date is still to be confirmed.
For more on the growing trend for multi-faceted retail/leisure hubs, see Hybrid Retail and Mall Worlds in the Future of the Store Industry Trend. See also GQ Brings Barber to NY Sports Venue for another example of entertainment venues courting the retail dollar.
For more on discount retailing, look out for our report Outlet Retailing, publishing at the end of February.