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Green Light for Downtown Grantham Designer Outlet, UK

Freeport Retail’s planning application for a £125m designer outlet centre in Grantham, in partnership with leading Lincolnshire retailer Oldrids & Downtown, has been approved by South Kesteven District Council.

The decision paves the way for a scheme that will create more than 1,700 new jobs. Located on land surrounding the existing Downtown store adjacent to the A1 highway, the plans include a 220,425 sq ft designer outlet centre comprising 107 shops.

The proposals also include a new ‘Downtown at Home’ store, an indoor leisure unit, a new tourist information and visitor centre, and the redevelopment of the site’s existing garden centre to create a new and more modern environment.

The retail and leisure facilities will be complemented by space for new and growing businesses, including a high-tech hub and incubator start-up offices. In addition, the scheme includes the construction of a new training academy, which will be delivered in partnership with Grantham College.

Iestyn Roberts, Freeport Chief Executive commented:

“Freeport’s coming home! Following ‘The Village’, Lyon, winning ‘Best New Outlet Centre 2018’ at the prestigious MAPIC awards, we are bringing our expertise back to the UK. The Oldrids & Downtown site remains one of the few major locations which is not well-served by the outlet industry and will be our first new centre in the UK since 2005.

“We see the redevelopment and improvement of an existing retail location as a major plus. It will not take up greenfield land and the existing footfall of 2 million will be a significant asset to launching the development.”

Richard Broadhead, Managing Director of Oldrids & Downtown said:

“We’re delighted that the planning committee has approved this application and recognised the extensive benefits this exciting new scheme will bring to Grantham and the wider area. Our huge investment will significantly enhance the retail offer and bring a host of new facilities and job opportunities to the region. This is a major development, targeting premium retail brands that will attract visitors and tourists from far and wide, boosting the local economy.

“A massive amount of work has gone into this planning application and we are really grateful to everyone who has been involved in this process. There is huge support for our proposals from both the public and the business community. I would like to thank all those who have supported us for their ongoing enthusiasm and encouragement.”

Delivery of the scheme will also result in major investments in the local area, which will help improve transport infrastructure, road signage, public transport, town centre facilities, car park signage, tourism, education and training.

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Freeport is delighted to announce that The Village, Villefontaine has won Best Outlet at the prestigious MAPIC awards. Amongst a high quality short list of four, The Village emerged as the best outlet.

In partnership with Compagnie de Phalsbourg, the innovative design has already proved a huge hit with customers and brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike, Levis, Zadig and Voltaire, Furla and a host of other leading brands. Freeport Chief Executive, Iestyn Roberts said: “It’s been a long road since Freeport first looked at this project. However we have always believed that this is an outstanding location with huge potential. Thanks to the vision and expertise of our partner, Compagnie de Phalsbourg, and the hard work of the Freeport team, that potential isnow being realised.” “It is already the second outlet centre in France and we think there’s a great deal more to come. New retailers are opening regularly and our customer base is expanding fast.”

The Village opened on 17th May 2018 and is situated on the A43 between Lyon and Grenoble.


The exciting and innovative new premium designer outlet The Village has opened amidst huge crowds and a massive firework display. One leading store reported taking €150,000 in the first 2 hours of trading. Located on the A43, on the way to Grenoble, about 20 minutes from Lyon city centre and 15 minutes from the airport. Designed by leading Italian architect, Gianni Ranaulo, it features glass ‘houses’, surrounded by a ring of shops, water features, musical fountains and art installations. The first phase of 24,700 m2 is already over 80% leased, and a second phase of approximately 5,000 m2 will open in 2019. The centre was developed by Compagnie de Phalsbourg in a joint venture with Freeport Retail, which holds an equity participation in the project, providing development, leasing and operations services.

Leading the speeches at the opening, Iestyn Roberts, Chief Executive of Freeport paid tribute to local mayor, Raymond Feyssaguet and Chief Executive of Compagnie de Phalsbourg, Philippe Journo for their tenacity and vision in driving the project to a successful conclusion.

Iestyn Roberts, commented,

"We are delighted to have our open our first project in France – it’s also our first opening in Europe for 3 years, so it’s major milestone in achieving our plan to position Freeport as one of the top 3 outlet developers. It is beautiful, futuristic and has struck a real chord with brands who are tired of boring cookie cutter schemes which do not excite the customer.”

Shops at The Village feature major international brands including Polo Ralph Lauren, Columbia, Nike, adidas, New Balance, Zadig & Voltaire, The Kooples, American Vintage, Guess, Galaries Lafayette, Geox, Asics, Sonia Rykiel, Furla, de Fursac, Home & Cook, Ted Baker. There is a delightful lakeside dining area – which passing motorists on the A43 will soon discover – featuring Italian Bistro food, a Paul Bocuse restaurant, Paul and many others.

Freeport opened the 190,000 sq,ft Freeport A’famosa Outlet near Malacca, Malaysia in 2016. In October Freeport will open Acienda Designer Outlet in The Philippines. Located 45km south of Manila and close to the weekend and holiday destination of Tagaytay. Phase 1 offers over 21,000 m2 230,000 sq.ft) GLA in 135 units and 1,600 car spaces.

In Europe Freeport manages Ringsted Outlet near Copenhagen, the only outlet village in Denmark, and is also working on a major new scheme in the UK at Grantham. The company has active development projects in Bahrain and India and has opened an office in Kuala Lumpur to manage its activities in Asia. Freeport Retail was set up by Iestyn Roberts and Chris Milliken in 2010 as a spin out of the original Freeport plc business purchased by Carlyle in 2007.

For further details contact Iestyn Roberts at



The Philippines now benefits from its first true international outlet with the opening of Acienda Designer Outlet on October 26th. Located 45km south of Manila and close to the weekend and holiday destination of Tagaytay. Phase 1 offers over 21,000 m2 230,000 sq.ft) GLA in 135 units and 1,600 car spaces. The centre was developed and is owned by prominent Manila developer Cathay Land with London based Freeport Retail providing development, leasing and operations services.

The centre is open air but well protected from the elements by deep canopies and arcades. The themed village style architecture features Italian, Spanish, New England and French zones. The locality and customer demand has dictated a larger F&B component that would normally be seen in an outlet with 35 units given over to in-line restaurants, cafes, food-court, wine and beer bars all with alfresco dining facing the 25m (80ft) landmark windmill, which contains a coffee shop. The layout forms a closed loop with 3 entrances giving access to the car parks. All trading space is at ground floor with a split level to accommodate the sloping site.”

Press Release, please click here

Acienda Designer Outlet in Manila

Freeport Retail is delighted to announce that 70% of the stores have been leased for the soft opening on 26th October. Many stores are now in fitout for the Philippines’ first designer outlet. With an eventual line up of over 120 stores it promises to be a major new feature in the retail landscape of the Philippines. As can be seen from the attached photos both the centre and the store fitouts are of the highest quality.

Freeport Retail Commercial Director, Chris Milliken said: “We’re really excited with how it’s taking shape. The special features and landscaping are bringing the vision to life and the retailers are responding with good quality stores. The centre is on track and the opening in October promises to be a great day.”


Freeport Retail Limited, one of the leading developers and operators of Outlet Centres in Europe, announces its entry into India – which presents a golden opportunity to develop prime designer outlet villages. The timing is right as IKEA’s recent grand entry to this fastest growing retail market demonstrates.

Freeport Retail, in an exclusive collaboration with Curations Boutique Group, a leading “Omni channel” platform, will now be able to offer its expertise to investors and developers for jointly developing “Outlet Malls” in India.

Freeport Retail Limited and Curations Boutique Group have formed a SPV called Freeport Retail Holdings Private Limited to offer its services in India and appointed Mr. Deepak Kumar as the President of India Operations. Until recently, Mr. Kumar was the co-founder of Luxury Quotient Group (LQ), one of the largest distribution platforms for international fashion brands in India and also a key promoter of the Curations Boutique.

“We are very excited with this opportunity and plan to open our first outlet in New Delhi within the next 18 months followed by another 5-6 outlets in Chandigarh/Tri-City, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata in the next five years” says Mr. Iestyn Roberts, CEO of Freeport Retail Limited who was recently in India to study the market and close formalities.

Construction of The Village, Villefontaine well underway

With all ground works now complete the above ground construction is proceeding fast.

The centre will open on 4th April 2018 with a brand profile that will ensure its regional dominance on the outlet market.

Acienda Designer Outlet, Philippines

Construction of Acienda Designer Outlet, the Philippines starts December 2016 – well on track for scheduled opening date

Freeport A’ Famosa

Freeport A’famosa Outlet celebrates its first year of trading with 3 million visitors and the 2017 Chinese New Year.

Jayden Lewis joins Freeport as Leasing Manager Asia

Jayden has many years’ experience in the retail world was responsible for Adidas in The Philippines for 4 years.

Jayden is based at Freeport in Kuala Lumpur is focusing on the Acienda Designer Outlet in The Philippines.

Ringsted Outlet Copenhagen

Ringsted Outlet Copenhagen saw another record year in trade with footfall and turnover up 15%.

The outlet has further strengthened its position as the outlet of choice for brands and consumers and has seen 105% growth in turnover since Freeport took over the management in 2012.

New adidas store opens in Ringsted to excellent trading

Freeport A’ Famosa

Freeport Retail delivers a new outlet center, Freeport A’ Famosa, 100 percent leased, in shopper-dense Malaysia.

When Malaysia’s deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi officially opened Freeport A’ Famosa Outlet on Jan. 28, the 180,000-sf center had actually been open for two months and had already been visited by more than 650,000 shoppers.

See here the article from International Outlet Journal.

David Swann – In Memoriam

David Swann

It is with great sadness we report the passing of David Swann on 29th January 2016 at the age of 75.

David Swann was one of the founder Directors of Freeport plc and could lay claim to have been one of the founders of the European outlet industry.

He was a trained architect and was the Chief Architect at Debenhams before turning his entrepreneurial flair to the real estate development world. Although he retired from Freeport plc in 2000, he remained very active in the outlet market and was still pursuing a number of projects at his death.

His ready smile and charm will be much missed by his many friends. He leaves a widow, Edna and a son, Lyndon.

Freeport at Bloomberg

7th March 2013: Iestyn Roberts speaks to Bloomberg
(click image to see video)

International tenants flock to Freeport’s expanded outlet centre in Lisbon

Freeport, the retail outlet operating unit of Carlyle Europe Real Estate, has reached almost 100% occupancy at its Alcochete outlet retail centre near Lisbon following the completion of a new extension that is due to open today. International retailers including Helly Hansen, Claire’s, PreNatal and Dockers have signed up to eight of the 10 new units, the company´s CEO Iestyn Roberts told PropertyEU.

´Tenant demand for our outlet centre has been very strong,’ he noted. ‘Portugal is not an easy retail market at the moment and spending cuts are biting significantly. But in December we saw 10% more customers.’

The extension at the Alcochete centre adds a further 1,500 m2 of gross lettable area (GLA), increasing the total GLA dedicated to retail to almost 43,000 m2 and occupancy to 98%. The remaining two units are currently under offer.

Freeport claims its Alcochete centre is the largest of its kind in Europe with over 140 shops plus 20 restaurants and restaurants and a major exhibition space. It is located in Alcochete, close to the centre of Lisbon, near the Vasco da Gama bridge on the south side of the river Tejo. In addition to Portugal, Freeport owns outlet centres in the Czech Republic, and Sweden.

In total, Freeport owns 114,700 m2 of outlet space across these three countries and has an additional 45,000 m2 in development in France and Germany. The company also manages another 14,000 m2 of retail space on behalf of other owners. Following the launch of Freeport Retail late last year, the company is seeking to expand its asset management and consultancy services to developers, investors and asset owners in the retail sector internationally.

While declining to give details, Roberts said Freeport has seen its revenue and profitability increase each year since its acquisition by US private equity group Carlyle in 2007. The London-based operator reported a record 22% increase in net income in the year ended June 2011, largely as a result of asset management initiatives which increased occupancy levels in virtually all of its operated outlet centres. Average occupancy across the portfolio stands at over 98%, with Kungsbacka in Sweden having reported the strongest income growth over the past 12 months, up 35% year-on-year.

Carlyle Europe Real Estate has six units cross Europe in Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Stockholm which advise three Luxemburg based European property funds - Carlyle Europe Real Estate Partners I-II. The total value of the funds’ assets under management amount to EUR 3.4 bn. The Carlyle Group closed its first property fund in the US in 1997 and has since then been a sponsor for another 10 property funds in the US Europe, Asia and Latin America. The total value of assets under management amounts to $11 bn (EUR 8.4 bn).

Middle Eastern SWF refinances Carlyle's Freeport subsidiary

GLOBAL – Carlyle Group has successfully refinanced its subsidiary Freeport, saying that the assets had been provided by a sovereign wealth fund "based in the Middle East".

Freeport, part of Carlyle Europe Real Estate, also announced that it has created a new entity, with Freeport Retail providing outsourced asset management services.

Freeport Retail has already assumed management of a centre in the Danish capital of Copenhagen – the Ringsted Outlet jointly owned by TK Development and the Miller Group – with Freeport's chief executive Iestyn Roberts saying it would allow the company to "grow income for other investors using the same expertise".

Addressing the refinancing of Freeport, Carlyle European Real Estate managing director Robert Hodges said: "The new investment we have secured for Freeport underpins its strong position in the European outlet mall sector.

"We see the creation of Freeport Retail as offering a valuable new service to capitalise on this expertise as we explore further investment opportunities across Europe."

A number of sovereign wealth funds could the source of refinancing, with the Qatari scheme's real estate subsidiary Qatari Diar recently outbidding the UK's Wellcome Trust to acquire a £557m (€646m) stake in the London Olympic Village.

Other potential investors include the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the second-largest institutional investor behind Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund and the Kuwait Investment Authority.

Freeport sponsor MAGDUS

Chris Milliken and Iestyn Roberts were among the speakers at 2012's Magdus colloquium in Troyes.
(Scanned from publications and copied from internet)

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