NEINVER has been in the outlet business for more than 25 years, as an investor, developer and operator, successfully carrying out numerous outlet projects in Europe. Here, RLI learns more about the retail and leasing side of the business as we sit down with Joan Rouras, Group Director of Leasing and Retail.
Founded in 1969, NEINVER today operates 337,000 m2 of GLA outlet including projects under development, plus 180,000 m2 of other commercial assets and more than 800 brands in six European countries. Due to their highly specialized profile and their commitment to both consumers and brands, they have been a benchmark in the market for many years.
“Our value proposition is built on experience, flexibility and collaboration with retailers as long-term partners, aligning and working around common interests and this will continue to be a winning retail formula. Physical spaces are a key touch point for brands to help reinforce brand value and the outlet business is an important channel for many brands to reach consumers”, explains Joan Rouras, Director of Leasing and Retail for the Group. .
“However, in addition to the partnership, we must continue to develop key areas such as digitization, the shopping experience and sustainability. At NEINVER, we have been developing a wide range of initiatives designed to do just this: leveraging our brand partnerships and customer-focused initiatives, investing in digital technologies and raising the bar on our sustainability goals.”
Even in recent difficult times, the company has been very pleased with its results, its outlet centers in Europe are even exceeding the sales levels they reported before the pandemic and they have successfully maintained stable occupancy rates across their entire portfolio and have signed a series of key new agreements. leases
They continue to work hand in hand with their brand partners, making team decisions based on performance and with a view to generating value at every stage. To support retailers’ growth strategies, in some cases they are adapting spaces to better meet their needs. Rouras explains that they are not limited to managing points of sale or collecting rent; His focus is to make business decisions that truly add value to retailers and customers, as can be clearly seen in the results achieved in his centers. They put themselves in the shoes of their brands and work with them to help them remain relevant to today’s end consumers.
Across the NEINVER portfolio, they have secured or brought in key anchors such as Zara Home in San Sebastián de los Reyes The Style Outlets in Spain which opened its first store, Under Armor at FACTORY Krakow in Poland, Wolford and Custo Barcelona at Viladecans The Style Outlets in Barcelona and Puma Kids in Amsterdam among others.
Other notable leases are the one signed with Adidas to increase the size of its store in FACTORY Ursus in Poland or the reinforcement of its alliance with Dockers in a portfolio operation.
Regarding the offers they are working on at the moment, Rouras explains that they have been reinforcing their food and beverage offer and paying special attention to the sportswear and activewear categories.
“Our food and beverage strategy is key to our leasing strategy. We have to give our customers more reasons to visit and that also means having the right gastronomic offer. A rich variety of food and beverage options is extremely attractive to consumers and can play a key role in increasing the amount of time a consumer spends in the mall. We already invested in this area before the pandemic and are now working to nearly double the restaurant space in our centers, depending on location, local culture, and local regulations. In the centers where the offer is already wide enough, we are strategically distributing the F&B tenants among the centers or working to achieve the right mix in terms of quantity, diversity and quality of service. A good example is The Style Outlets in Viladecans, where we have opened several new restaurants in recent months, a movement that has been important in increasing the number of visitors to the center and improving its performance”.
They are also working on the Alpes The Style Outlets project which is progressing well. Regarding leasing, they have divided the center into clusters and several of these are already fully covered, with some areas, such as the most premium ones, in advanced leasing stages. Rouras also highlights the increased interest that his current brand partners are showing in the scheme, which is a demonstration of the appeal of this project and The Style Outlets brand.
Sustainability is a huge consideration in the world of retail and retailers are realizing that taking meaningful action to address climate change or social issues can be a major differentiator.
“We have seen increased interest from retailers in recent years, particularly since the start of the pandemic, and more conversations are taking place with our partners about how to align sustainability strategies. Brands now realize that we have shared interests and a partnership approach is the most efficient way to make a meaningful impact. Finding the synergies and the right balance is the key”, says Rouras.
NEINVER’s spirit is based on the concept of ‘service’ and, therefore, they accompany their members on each step of their journey as just that: a partner. Their core value lies in their dedication to building a long-term partnership with retailers from the moment they sign an agreement through unit delivery and their day-to-day operations.
What sets the company apart is its ability to bring together the best brands, the best prices, and the best customer experience. Their strategy is focused on offering customers a wide choice, tailoring their tenant mix to their target customers, keeping the retail offering as up-to-date and attractive as possible for each individual catchment area, and ensuring the shopping experience and journey. correct. it is always offered for each generation.
“From the brand side, our success lies in the relationship we build with our partners. We work closely with them and strive to help them grow their businesses, because if they grow, so do we, it’s a win-win.”
When asked about the challenges facing the business, Rouras goes on to say that we currently live in uncertain times and there is much discussion about the need to continue working on experience, sustainability, community and digital solutions to remain a leading force in the retail industry. real estate.
“However, beyond that, one thing is certain, from both an individual and a business standpoint, the need to bring out the best in ourselves. In other words, to make sure that we give the best NEINVER possible in all aspects, because that is what will allow us to face the challenges that the market and the sector pose to us and turn them into opportunities. We have a wonderful and highly talented team of professionals, all of whom have a clear focus and are committed to achieving their goals. With this in place, I have no doubt that we will be able to successfully overcome any challenges we face in the future”, concludes Rouras.