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Underpinning the creation of a new retail sector

It’s easy to forget how radically different shopping was only a mere two decades ago. In the pre-online age of the early 1990’s, the average UK shopper had a very limited choice of High Street private label brands, clustered in humdrum, clone-town shopping malls. Dullsville.

Luxury and aspirational brands were strictly for the cognoscenti – the exclusive preserve of a small minority of elite Department Store customers in London, and seemingly forever out of reach for the average consumer. If you were really lucky, shrewd customers could perhaps track down out-of-season luxury label remnants in edge-of-town industrial factory environments.

But all of that was about to change with the arrival of the modern Designer Outlet; bringing the world’s most sought-after luxury, designer and premium brands to everyone, at massively discounted prices, set in an attractive and highly accessible shopping environment.

This is the revolution pioneered by McArthurGlen, Europe’s leading owner, developer and manager of Designer Outlets. Every year they attract approximately 75 million visitors to their centres and give them 30-70% discount on their favourite brands, all in attractive surroundings close to major tourist hubs.

McArthurGlen championed the Designer Outlet concept in Europe, changing the whole dynamic of luxury shopping whilst creating a whole new retail channel for brand-savvy UK & European customers. They also fundamentally ripped up the rulebook on the traditional tenant-landlord relationship, introducing the shared risk/reward partnership approach to turnover-based rent.

Our association with McArthurGlen stretches all the way back from those heady days of the mid 1990’s to the present day. Our relationship has involved many Insights and Recruitment projects all across the UK and continental Europe, including main Board executive hires. We recently entered a new chapter in our relationship – supporting the launch of McArthurGlen Vancouver Airport, the first designer outlet of its kind in North America to feature luxury European brands.

During the last two decades, Outlet trading has helped to change the face of brand-shopping within the UK and Europe. As Outlets continue to evolve as tourism lifestyle & leisure destinations, we are particularly proud of our long association with the market’s undisputed leader, and our contribution to the journey.

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“RMC have partnered with McArthurGlen for more than two decades. Jim [Logie] and the team have a superb understanding of the Outlet sector in general and our business in particular, and who will be successful at McArthurGlen.

Jim brings significant industry knowledge and an international network of talent. As a result he has helped us hire a number of senior people across our entire business during our long-standing partnership with RMC.”

Caroline Gillard
Group HR Director, McArthurGlen