By Alex Howlett2019-10-03T23:00:00
VIA Outlets CEO Otto Ambagtsheer shows Alex Howlett around Freeport Lisboa and reveals how creating centres with local character is helping the firm expand in Europe.
At the restaurant we have lunch at before our tour of Freeport Lisboa, he stops a waiter to praise the starter. Later, he jokingly congratulates Nuno Oliveira, VIA’s regional business director for Iberia, for the panoramic view over the Vasco da Gama bridge, which connects the area the outlet is located in to Lisbon.
Ambagtsheer has good reason to feel proud. Since the company was founded in 2014, it has acquired 11 centres across nine countries, making it the fastest-growing owner-operator of outlet centres in Europe.
Having achieved double-digit growth in the first half of 2019 and increased footfall by 8%, it is now worth £1.6bn – at a time when many retail landlords are struggling to stay afloat. So what is it about this “new kid on the block”, as Ambagtsheer describes VIA, that has enabled it to defy the odds?
You must be logged in to continue
Register for free to finish this article.
Sign up now for the following benefits:
To access this article REGISTER NOW
Would you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £6 per week.