LONDON — Kilver Court Designer Village, the luxury outlet created by Mulberry founder Roger Saul and located in Somerset, England, has revealed a major expansion plan of its retail, office and event spaces.
The plan, which is divided into four phases, will introduce 50,000 square feet of additional space to accommodate up to 8 new retailers. The current space spans 28,000 square feet.
Once the plan is complete in 2021, it is estimated that sales will reach 67 million pounds or $84.5 million and the outlet will attract up to one million visitors per year. It will also provide an additional 130 jobs.
The four-year investment is estimated to cost eight to 10 million pounds, or $10 million to $12.6 million.
The plan to expand the business follows steady annual growth since the outlet’s opening in 2011. There are 55 designer labels stocked on site, including Rapha, Orlebar Brown, Turnbull & Asser and Penelope Chilvers, with the annual sales turnover reaching up to 11 million pounds, or $14 million, a 30 percent like-for-like increase in the 2015-16 period.
“We launched at a time when one in four shops in market towns throughout the country were closing and general retail was suffering due to increasing popularity of online shopping. I believed that the answer was to deliver bargains from favorite designer brands within a beautiful environment which provided an engaging and social experience,” Saul said.
Saul drew from his experience in the design industry to create a new shopping experience at Kilver Court, which he describes as “serendipitous retail” and is based on regularly changing the product curation on site and growing the current offer organically based on consumer demand instead of creating traditional units to be filled by brands.
Providing entertainment is another area of focus on the center, which regularly hosts consumer events. Shoppers can also visit a series of restaurants and a three and a half-acre garden located on-site, as part of the shopping experience.
“We approach the customer experience from a more curated point of view. One of the most famous principles in retailing is ‘retail is detail’ and this philosophy is prevalent in everything we do at Kilver Court, from the selection of brand partners, the purchasing of product and rotating of displays to the differentiated site design, our engaging staff and inspirational events held on site,” Saul added. “We believe constant innovation is vital.”
A keen environmentalist, Saul also ensures sustainable fashion, homeware and design items are highlighted throughout the retail space.
Kilver Court’s expansion is part of ongoing developments across Somerset, which has become one of the most sought-after counties in the U.K., following openings by Hauser & Wirth and the popular hotel and restaurant The Pig Near Bath. Babington House, which is owned by Soho House, also has established presence in Somerset and Glastonbury Festival also takes place in the area.