MELAKA: Freeport Retail Ltd and A’Famosa Group unveiled yesterday a RM190 million Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village, in which its first phase will open in April 2015. The project is a joint venture between Freeport Retail Ltd, a leading developer and operator of outlet centres in Europe, and Langkah Realti Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of A’Famosa Group. The village will be located on 20 acres (8.1ha) of land adjacent to the A’Famosa Resort in Melaka and will completed in three phases.
“Southeast Asia is a fantastic market for outlet centres,” said Freeport Retail commercial director Chris Milliken. “With the increase in disposable income and consumer spending, there is a huge demand for top quality brand items. We could not wish for a better location — easily accessible to north and south via the most important ‘expressway’ in Malaysia, an existing customer base of two million [per annum at A’Famosa Resort], and Malacca’s approximately 12 million visitors a year.”
A’Famosa Group managing director Datuk Alex Lau Chir Nguan said, “It has always been A’Famosa’s vision to deliver an outlet centre in this location and we are delighted to see transition from the drawing board to reality. The opening of Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village will definitely be another great attraction for our domestic and international visitors.”
Construction of the first phase will start in March next year and will have a net lettable area (NLA) of 175,000 sq ft, consisting of 81 retail units and 19 food and beverage lots. It will feature 70 international fashion brands that offer discounted goods from 30% to 70% below the normal retail prices, a range of themed restaurants, international food brands, food court, exhibition halls and 1,200 free parking spaces. “We are expecting well over three million shoppers in year one,” Milliken said.
|An artist’s impression of the Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village.|
The construction of Phases 2 and 3 will start after the grand opening of Phase 1 and Milliken expects the entire project to be completed by end-2016, with about 120 units over a total NLA of 310,000 sq ft.
On what sets the project apart from Johor Premium Outlets, he emphasised its location and the proximity between Melaka and Kuala Lumpur, and the fact that shoppers will be attracted by the leisure and entertainment facilities A’Famosa Resort offers.
Rental rates were not disclosed but the village is in the process of taking in tenants. Milliken assured that all the top brands will be there.
Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, who was at the launching ceremony, said the opening of the outlet will further increase the inflow of tourists to Melaka, which was listed as the Unesco World Heritage Site in 2008.
Freeport Retail is a British company and Europe’s 8th largest outlet centre brand. It has over 1.65 million sq ft of outlets and ties with nearly 400 brand stores. The Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village is its first project in Southeast Asia. The British company will also open a new outlet in Italy in the same month as the opening of Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village’s first phase, and a new outlet in France in April 2016.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 22, 2013.