FREEPORT Retail believes it has hit the right notes with shoppers and tourists, with its unique and fun approach to Freeport A’Famosa Outlet in Malacca.
Freeport commercial director Chris Milliken said the outlet centre, which opened its doors last November, was on track to attract 2.5 million visitors in its first year of operation. He expects footfall to grow by 10% annually.
“Malacca is a good location for us. Malacca attracts about 30 million visitors a year. And Freeport A’Famosa Outlet is located near the A’Famosa Golf Resort,” said Milliken.
The outlet centre is owned and developed by Langkah Realiti Sdn Bhd, which also owns the A’Famosa Golf Resort.
Freeport Retail has been involved in the development of the project since the beginning and currently manages the centre.
London-based Freeport Retail, since 1994, has deep expertise in developing, owning and operating more than 15 centres across the world.
The 16,722.5sq m Freeport A’Famosa Outlet centre is 100% leased and boasts 70-plus tenants, including include Nike, Cotton On, Esprit, Levi’s, Triumph, Puma, G2000, Samsonite, Saccor, Geox, Folli Follie, U.S. Polo Association and Forever 21.
One of the factors leading to the success of the shopping destination in Malacca is Freeport Retail’s fun approach to the project.
Milliken said outlet shopping centres catered to leisure shoppers.
“You are there to bargain hunt. You don’t know what you want, or if you’re going to buy anything yet. But it is a day out for the family. Outlet centres are not nearby, but you are willing to go all the way there for a day out.
“So it should be about a nice and fun environment. It should be different from a full-price shopping environment. Otherwise, they might as well just drive to the nearest mall,” he said.
To this end, Freeport Retail has put in a lot of attention to creating an ambiance that will encourage families to enjoy themselves while looking for bargains.
The architecture of the centre, themed on Malacca’s Dutch heritage, offers a series of open-air plazas and features a windmill, fountains, gardens and a carousel.
There are also a host of events carried out at Freeport A’Famosa Outlet over the year to keep visitors entertained. These events included hosting 60 finalists for the Miss Tourism Queen of the Year International 2015, ensuring plenty of Chinese New Year deals and daily performances during the Lunar festivities.
Milliken said Phase Two for the outlet centre was under way and was expected to be ready by early 2018.
The new phase, which measures some 3,716sq m to 4180.6sq m, will add another 40 units of retail stores and more parking bays as well as more fun and leisure elements such as an event hall, children’s play area and food and beverage corner.