Tianjin Unveils High-End Mega-Outlet Mall, Florentia Village

Italian fashion giant RDM to invest US$910 million in building five luxury outlet centers in China

 

Florentia Village (Image: eNorth)

Florentia Village (Image: eNorth)

Today, the Italian real estate developer and retailer RDM officially launched its Florentia Village high-end outlet mall on the outskirts of Tianjin, in northeast China. A 1 billion yuan (US$154 million) joint investment between RDM and the American Waitrex Group, as Jing Daily wrote earlier this year, Florentia Village is located in the Wuqing development area, roughly between Tianjin and Beijing. Covering an area of 60,000 square meters, with 42,000 square meters of gross leasing area, Florentia Village is a massive gamble on China’s nascent outlet mall industry. However, RDM seems to be confident that “if you build it–and sell discounted high-end goods–they will come.”

Built to resemble a Renaissance-era Italian city, and featuring more than 200 brands, including Prada, Burberry and Armani, Florentia Village advertises an average discount of 50-70 percent off of domestic retail prices. As Bao Yifang, managing director of RDM Asia-Pacific and chairman of Florentia Village, said at today’s grand opening, the mall offers shoppers not only international luxury brands but also sporting and recreation activities.

Florentia Village ribbon-cutting

Florentia Village ribbon-cutting

As RDM chairman Jacopo Mazzei said at the ribbon-cutting, “China is the fastest-growing region in the global luxury market. Researchers have said that China will soon surpass Japan and the US to become the world’s largest luxury consumer market, and we, along with our brand allies, have recognized the pace of development in China.” Added Mazzei, “Chinese consumers have become more sophisticated, and they have an increasing desire for luxury goods. Investing in China is a long-term strategy for RDM, and we believe now is the best time to do so.”

Over the next four years, RDM plans to invest 5 billion yuan (US$772 million) in another three to four Florentia Village outlet centers in cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing. Let’s just hope they have more luck than other vast shopping projects like Dongguan’s infamous South China Mall. Fortunately for Florentia Village, though, the outlet is only about 20 minutes from Beijing via the Jingjin high-speed train, so we could very well see a steady stream of bargain-hunting Beijingers tearing through stores every weekend.

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