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In all, the new phase adds a further 30 stores, and includes such sought-after names as the Nike Factory Store, which opened in the run-up to Christmas, and Michael Kors, which opened at the end of last year, together with the new, expanded Polo Ralph Lauren, which relocated from the first phase to leave space for what is now Europe's largest Polo Ralph Lauren Children outlet store.
Chiara Bellomo, Centre Manager for Barberino Designer Outlet, says: "With the additional new brands opening at the centre, which include some of the most sought-after names in the world of fashion, Barberino Designer Outlet is asserting its position as a key fashion destination in the Florentine region, both for local and international shoppers alike."
Barberino Designer Outlet, which first opened in 2006, is one of the most picturesque of McArthurGlen's centres, and one of five in Italy. The centre, set in the Tuscan landscape, straddles the River Sieve as it runs down from the Apennine Mountains, with wooden footbridges linking the two main walkways.
The new phase adds more than 5,000 sq m of gross leasable area to bring the total amount of retail space at the centre to around 27,000 sq m, with more than 130 stores. It also sees the creation of 300 new jobs, bringing the total number of people employed at the centre to around 1,000.
Together with Polo Ralph Lauren Children, new brands to open in the first phase since last autumn include many Italian names which are increasingly becoming well-known outside Italy. These include the likes of local Florentine brand Flavio Castellani; Gallo, famous for its colourful socks; Verona-based Moorer, known for its jackets and coats; and footwear and accessories brand Carlo Pazolini, particularly popular with the visiting Russian shoppers.
These new brands join existing names that include Dolce & Gabbana, Furla, Pinko, Guess, CK Jeans, Blumarine, Coccinelle, Belstaff, Pal Zileri and Baldinini.
In terms of restaurant concepts, W.O.K., an Italian, Asian-inspired concept, has opened in phase 2, joining the two local concepts of Tuscan restaurant Il Torracchione and Borgo Café.
Barberino Designer Outlet welcomed around three million shoppers in 2013, up more than 11% on the previous year's figure, while spending by non-EU shopping tourists was up a staggering 46%. The centre is owned by Henderson Global Investors' European Outlet Mall Fund, in which McArthurGlen is also an investor.
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