Americans to open factory shops in UK

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The Independent Online
TWO Americans who have built up a dollars 350m business in the US by developing shopping centres entirely tenanted by factory shops are turning their eyes to Britain. They hope to open their first factory shopping centre by the end of next year.

McArthur/Glen Group, controlled by Cheryl McArthur and Alan Glen, has identified nine possible sites in the UK for out-of- town centres, where 20-30 top- name manufacturers are able to knock out excess production and flawed stock.

It said it had 20 American clients keen to become tenants of a UK centre. In the US it has developed 15 centres, where the tenants include Nike, Ralph Lauren, Royal Doulton and Samsonite.

According to Malcolm Young, principal of McArthur/Glen Europe, there are 2,800 factory shop centres in the US, selling top brands at 40-75 per cent of retail prices, and turning over dollars 7.4bn annually.

The closest Britain comes to the phenomenon is the Hornsea Freeport Shopping Village, Humberside, a development owned by the consumer products maker Peter Black Holdings.

Despite its remote location Hornsea, which Peter Black developed as a means of mopping up excess space, is thought to attract a million bargain hunters a year.

Mr Young, who is also managing director of Wilky Property Holdings, the Surrey developer, said the purpose-built centres would be much more upmarket than Hornsea.