Converse, the iconic American shoe brand, is opening its first retail store in the UK and has chosen London Designer Outlet (LDO) at Wembley Park, the capital’s only fashion & lifestyle outlet centre, as the best place to be.
The Boston, Massachusetts-headquartered lifestyle company is owned by Nike and is famous for its renowned All Star sneakers. LDO already has one of Nike’s top 3 outlet stores in Europe, emphasising the potential for the new Converse offering. In 2015 and 2016, LDO was ranked in the top 10 best performing outlet centres in Europe.
The clothing & footwear choices at LDO are being further strengthened with two additional long-term signings. Dr. Martens has taken a long-term lease for a 1,350sq ft unit following the success of a pop-up trial store. Vans, the casual lifestyle brand, is adding to the wide choice for customers at LDO in an 1,800sq ft outlet shop.
In keeping with Wembley’s world-renowned reputation for sports and leisure, LDO is also host to Adidas, The North Face, Asics, Skechers and New Balance. Almost twice as many people visit LDO each year than go to Wembley Stadium and The SSE Arena, combined. The centre is the nearest outlet choice for some 5.8 million people, the largest such catchment in the UK.
Christine Grace, Realm’s leasing director for LDO, said: “Converse and Vans are great additions to the range of top brands LDO offers and we’re proud to be the centre of choice for Converse’s first-ever store in the UK. Furthermore, the move from temp-to-perm by Dr. Martens shows the confidence top brands have, not only with this location but also with an urban outlet option as part of their go-to-market mix.”
LDO is one of a small number of ‘new wave’ outlet centres that blend retail, f&b, leisure and residential within an urban setting. It is a premium retail & leisure destination, with the appeal of major retail brands, a choice of popular restaurants and bars, nine-screen cinema, and a range of experiential events, with the added bonus of serious, year-round discounts.
Additionally, overseas tourists are seeing the Wembley Park destination as an important part of their trip to London. Tax-free sales rose +36.8% YoY for the first five months of the year. Of the visitors from outside the EU, some 22.6% were from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
LDO offers aspirational and desirable brands at up to 70 per cent off RRP throughout the year. Its premium fashion, sports/urban and lifestyle names include Superdry, Jack Wills, H&M, Gap, Lee Wrangler, Kurt Geiger, M&S and Hamleys. The centre is also home to Europe’s top Guess outlet store for the past two years.
LDO is owned by Quintain, as part of its Wembley Park mixed use development, and is managed by Realm, the UK’s largest specialist outlet operator.