By  on March 30, 2010

MILAN — Value Retail plc, which operates nine high-end outlet malls in Europe with a total of 850 stores, reported a 21 percent increase in sales in 2009, reaching the 1 billion euro-mark, or $1.39 billion at average exchange rates.

The number of visitors rose 11 percent last year. In particular, the number of shoppers hailing from China grew 80 percent.Visitors from the Middle East jumped 122 percent and those from South East Asia climbed 67 percent.

Value Retail locations are based outside of London (Bicester Village); Paris (La Vallée Village); Dublin (Kildare Village); Brussels(Maasmechelen Village); Frankfurt (Wertheim Village); Munich (Ingolstadt Village); Madrid (Las Rozas Village);Barcelona (La Roca Village), and Fidenza, Italy (Fidenza Village). In 2009, sales at Bicester Village rose 26 percent compared with the previous year, while revenues at Fidenza Village closed up 21 percent. In 2009, 19 stores opened at Fidenza, expanding with additional brands such as Missoni, Valentino, Armani, Brooks Brothers, Gallo and Custo Barcelona.

In addition, the group said that, in the first two weeks of January, sales at Fidenza grew 51 percent, especially over the first few days of the year at the onset of seasonal discounts.

Fidenza Village covers 194,400 square feet and counts 96 stores. In the2010-2011 period, the outlet mall will add 37,800 square feet of selling space, and expects to open between 20 and 25 boutiques, through an investment of 20 million euros, or $27.7 million at current exchange.

In 2009, Value Retailintroduced gift cards online across Europe, the first shopping center business in the Continent to do so.

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