Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Johor Premium Outlets to add 40 new brands

By Pearl Lee The Straits Times Friday, Dec 14, 2012

SINGAPORE/MALAYSIA - Johor Premium Outlets will be adding about 40 new brands to its list of shops as part of a second phase of development, its operator Genting Simon said last Tuesday.

The additional stores will include mass-market, mid-range and luxury brands.

Operators were coy about revealing their names, citing a confidentiality agreement.

However, Genting Simon general manager Jean Marie Pin Harry hinted: "If you want to play the guessing game... you take Ion Orchard's list (of brands)... and see which one is not here yet."

The expansion is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of next year.

It will add another 100,000 sq ft to the outlet mall's current size of 175,000 sq ft.

It is part of the mall's 10-year master plan, which includes a third and final phase that has yet to be announced.

Genting Simon is also looking to add more fine dining options to the shopping village in its upcoming expansion, though there are no concrete proposals for these yet.

Genting Simon is a joint venture between Genting Plantations and United States real estate company Simon Property Group

Like the first-phase shops, outlets in the second phase will offer discounts of up to 65 per cent on their products every day.

Johor Premium Outlets opened in December last year in Kulaijaya, about an hour's drive from Singapore.

Genting Simon director Alex Phang said that in the past year, the outlet mall has been visited by about four million shoppers, which is well on target.

Mr Pin Harry added that Johor Premium Outlets will be able to announce the new brands shortly before the opening of its second phase, and even that will have to be subject to the companies' approval.

Many Singaporeans flocked to the complex when it first opened a year ago.

One was 23-year-old communications associate Stellina Seng.

She said she "did not spend a lot as it was not that cheap compared to shopping outlets in the United States or London".

When asked if the addition of 40 more brands would make her return, she said: "I don't think it's so much about adding brands. It is not that worth it to take the drive there when the things aren't that competitively priced."

But Dr Jimmy Tang, a 48-year-old dental surgeon who was at the outlet mall last Tuesday, felt that the goods on offer were "more value for money" than those in Singapore.

His family was picking out shirts and blouses from Polo Ralph Lauren.

His wife Regina Ng, 47, said that although the stores offer a limited range of items, "it is more worth it to buy them here than in Singapore".

She added: "At Ralph Lauren here, the off-season clothes are cheaper than those in Singapore, and if we buy five pieces, there is an extra 30 per cent discount."

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