Auckland Airport to build new 120-shop outlet centre, industry insiders welcome move


8 Sep, 2021 08:49 PM

Plans for the new 120-shop discount fasion hub at the airport. Photo / Auckland Airport

Property sector specialists have welcomed Auckland Airport’s plans to build a big new discount fashion outlet hub of about 120 stores.

Chris Wilkinson, of First Retail, welcomed Mark Thomson’s announcement. Thomson is the property and commercial general manger.

“Fashion outlet centres are well-established internationally, particularly at international airports like Auckland Airport. The development will be anchored in the domestic market while also creating a point of difference and enhanced travel experience for visitors to Auckland,” Thomson stated.

Wilkinson said the plans were “a good move from the airport because they are further diversifying their property portfolio. This will be welcomed by consumers and retailers interested in leasing space there,” he said.

“The formula is already proven. The DFO outlet centres in Australia are often located near the major international airports to leverage connectivity and audience. They do well,” Wilkinson stated.

European outlet centres also look for synergies with nearby airports to expand their reach.

Another industry expert said the airport needed to diversify away from purely air-travel related functions and had a bright future

“Interestingly enough, they are doing better as a property landlord. It’s no surprise they’re doing this,” he said.

These hubs offer well-known labels at highly discounted prices, as do Vancouver, Perth, and Brisbane.

The new hub will be built on a site near the northeast.

Mark Thomson of the airport announced the new hub. Photo / suppliedMark Thomson, the airport’s spokesperson, announced the new hub. Photo / supplied

Around 23,000sq m of shops will be built, concentrating on fashion, accessory, and footwear brands with food and dining and extensive car parking.

A Green Star design and build is planned.

Thompson stated that the outlet center will create up to 500 jobs in more than 100 stores, food outlets and other retail outlets.

Auckland’s only other major discount fashion centre is Dress Smart at Onehunga.

The centre is located at 151 Arthur St and has more than 100 shops. It was first developed in the old 3 Guys supermarket, but it has grown rapidly due to popular demand.

“Onehunga was chosen as the ideal location for Dress Smart in Auckland as it is centrally located and provides direct access from the city and the airport,” That’s what the business says.

It offers free parking, and brands such as Max, Barkers. Rodd & Gunn. Mi Piaci. Cue. Adidas, Nike, Puma, and many other brands are available. There are also food outlets.

According to Dress Smart Auckland, New Zealand’s largest outlet shopping destination is Puma.

Wilkinson indicated that there was a place to have both discount shopping centres.

“There are international brands that want an outlet presence in New Zealand, but suitable sites of profile and scale are not available. Outlet shopping is changing. Today it is all about scale and strong anchors that help differentiate from other centres.

“The airport should be able to combine its retail offering with unique casual dining experiences. Onehunga will feel the pressure, but Onehunga Town Centre has already made plans to improve their integration. There will be a place for both,” Wilkinson said.

The airport’s new commercial hub, The Landing, got a huge boost around March when hundreds of Foodstuffs North Island staff moved into new offices and the vast distribution centre.

Those buildings are now shortlisted for a national architecture award and are owned by the airport. Foodstuffs leases the land and purpose-built buildings.

The Landing is more than 100ha and tenants include Hellmann World Wide Logistics, Toll, DHL, Fonterra, Coca Cola Amatil, Fuji Xerox, Agility Logistics, DSV, Bunnings, Geodis Wilson and EBOS.

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