By Helen Siwak
The much anticipated McArthurGlen Designer Outlets at Vancouver International Airport opened last week, with approximately 45,000 shoppers making their way to check out the advertised savings at the designer outlet. Traffic was at a stand-still and travellers were delayed at the Vancouver International Airport with airport officials advising travellers to give themselves extra time to successfully make their flights. The Richmond RCMP was also on hand and directing traffic, requesting travellers stay in the left lane and those heading to the outlet mall to stay right.
There was an overwhelming response from public and in droves they flocked to Coach and Polo Ralph Lauren outlets, creating long line-ups. Other brands that welcomed shoppers included legendary Italian label Giorgio Armani, American designers Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss, and footwear staples Nike, Cole Haan and Vans. For those looking for upscale fashion, J.Crew and Brooks Brothers were noticeably closed but luxury retailer Secret Location launched their trimmed down SL with style with founder and owner Carey Melnichuk making an appearance.
Over the course of the day, shoppers were entertained by musicians, first nations dance group Coastal Wolfpack, an impressive piece of public art by local visual artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and CTV’s Samantha Sito invited everyone to join her at noon to enter a contest to win a Trip to Italy. Food and beverages were for sale (cash and credit card only) by local food vendors at the Hawkers Mercado, as well as a luxurious centrally located Caffé Artigiano and Nice Vice dairy-free pop-up ice cream shop.
There are 2,000 free parking stalls available and arriving at the Templeton Skytrain Station will situate shoppers less than 5 minutes away by foot and unless you can satisfy your shopping desire in 90 minutes, there will be an additional $9 transit fee to get home. The Templeton stop is under the jurisdiction of YVR and are offering free transit service between YVR and Templeton only and no reduction to local shoppers of the usual airport rate.
McArthurGlen Group was founded in Europe by the Kaempfer Partners in 1993 and is the pioneer of designer outlet retailing in Europe. McArthurGlen has developed 20 Designer Outlets (6.5 million sq ft of outlet space) in 8 countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK.
According to the company, as part of its on-going expansion, McArthurGlen is also under way or in planning with new designer outlets in: Provence (Marseille), Ghent (between the Belgian cities of Brussels and Bruges), Remscheid (near the German cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf), Málaga (southern Spain), two new centres in Istanbul, and one near Paris (Normandie).
Helen Siwak is an entrepreneur with a love of the environment, ecofriendly fashion, plant-based diets and animal welfare. She is the driving force behind ecoluxury lifestyle magazine THEClosetYVR and the upcoming lifestyle boutique of the same name. Helen writes for numerous online magazines and is a luxury retail/lifestyle contributor to VancityBuzz. Follow her at Twitter/Instagram: @THEClosetYVR