Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
If you, like us, have been avid outlet shoppers for most of your conscious lives, then you may have noticed over the past ten years, there's been a serious foreign clientele shift at major outlet shopping centers around the United States and Europe. Whereas in the 1990s, busloads of Japanese tourists would descend upon places such as New York's Woodbury Common Premium Outlets en masse, these days—actually, we started noticing it post-2004—the biggest Asian tourist populations at outlet centers come from China.
Makes sense, then, that Value Retail, a company that owns nine outlet centers in Europe—including Bicester Village in Oxfordshire, above, one of our favorite day-trip shopping destinations in the UK—is set to open a 600,000 square foot outlet shopping center in Suzhou, China, 50 miles outside of Shanghai.
“We will mimic what we do in Europe — focusing on high-end luxury and fashion brands,” Value Retail founder and chairman Scott D. Malkin told WWD. “The villages will be based in tier-one cities, in the suburbs of Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong.”
What brands will be present? Malkin says he can't disclose exact label names yet, but if Value Retail's European shopping centers are anything to go by, expect luxury, luxury, and more luxury:
Suzhou Village will offer a minimum of 35 percent off, and expects to have many of the same high-end brands and designer labels that operate inside Value Retail’s properties in Europe, such as Prada, Michael Kors, Coach, Staff International, Ralph Lauren, Sergio Rossi, Belstaff, Missoni, Ugg, Pink, Yves Saint Laurent, Tod’s, Burberry, Armani and Roberto Cavalli. Malkin has begun talking to many of the brands about Suzhou Village, though he said it was premature to reveal any China tenants.· Value Retail to Open Luxe Outlets in China [WWD]