Tuesday 20 August 2019

Footfall in Kildare Village up after €50m expansion

Prada is the latest luxury name to open as the outlet mall expands

‘We are seeking permission to increase the size of the Village’, said new business director Victor Biffi Rosano. Photo: Colin O’Riordan
‘We are seeking permission to increase the size of the Village’, said new business director Victor Biffi Rosano. Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Luxury fashion outlet Kildare Village enjoyed sales growth of 21pc last year, following the opening of a €50m Phase 2 extension in late 2015.

Footfall was up 27pc, with international visitor numbers and tax-free sales growing strongly.

The Village is owned by Value Retail and houses 95 boutiques. Prada, one of the world's most desirable luxury brands, will open there next week, while other new openings include The White Company, Kurt Geiger Men's, Rituals and The Christmas Collective.

Brands which opened in 2016 include DVF, Guess and New Balance and the total number of stores has now reached 95.

Victor Biffi Rosano, the new business director for Kildare Village, said the performance was in line with forecasts. "We are always aiming to be better but the results are very positive. The footfall is increasing every year and what happened after the new phase opened is a very strong increase in footfall."

There was a 14pc increase in tax-free sales with visitor numbers from China showing particular growth. The average transaction value for tax-free sales was up 8pc.

Rosano said that the weakness in sterling had not negatively impacted on visitors from Northern Ireland and Britain. He said that the "uniqueness of Kildare Village as a destination in terms of the offer, hospitality, quality of the shops" ensured that it continued to perform well.

Two companies linked to Kildare Village are about to file accounts. Kildare Retail Services Ltd, which provides marketing, merchandising and retail services to the brands trading in the centre, had revenues of €12.5m, up from €10.5m which primarily consist of royalty fee income. The operating profit was €1m up from €675,000 in 2015.

However, the pre-tax profits were given a boost by income relating to finance costs which brought in €602,000. In the previous years finance costs hit the company for €1.8m. Rosano said that the swing in finance costs was mainly down to currency fluctuations.

A second company, Value Retail Dublin, is the real estate arm of the firm and charges licence fees and services charges to tenants. Its revenues were €10.4m, up from €8m. Operating profit was €825,000, up from €387,000.

This business also benefited from a significant reduction in finance costs resulting in a pre-tax loss of €1.2m down from a loss of €6.9m in 2015. This company had net debt of €145m at the end of 2016.

Kildare Village has recently submitted a planning application for a third phase of development. Rosano, who previously worked for designers Emilio Pucci and Armani, said: "We continue to invest in its growth and are seeking permission to increase the size of the Village, mirroring our previous expansion."

The plan would add another 29 shops and two restaurants to the scheme, according to planning documents. The owners of Kildare Village include Hammerson, which is also part owner of Dundrum Town Centre.

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