It is the first open-air outlet village in the Baltic States. In the first round of the development of the project, an are of 14.5 thousand square meters has been built. The area of stores is expected to be around 20 thousand square meters in the coming year.
Via Jurmala Outlet Village marketing chief, Anna Žigalova, said the project was being developed by Latvian businessmen. Before starting the business, entrepreneurs commissioned a market study from a UK company that concluded that the business can be commercially successful.
"In the world and especially in Europe, the outlet segment of retail is the only one that's expanding. Normal retail (such as malls) has been stagnating in terms of volume for the past five years, " said Žigalova.
A favorable factor is also that there is only one branding outlet center in the Baltics, located in Vilnius.
"Of course we don't have a lot of people, but if it's the first concept then it also has an economic rationale," Žigalova said.
It is true that the business development plan before the COVID-19 crisis differed from what is currently the case, as regards attracting shops from abroad. Žigalova acknowledged that previously expectations for an influx of foreign guests were more ambitious.
"The Baltic is the primary target [..] there are those travelling around Latvia for other reasons, and we are not the main reason for them to come to Latvia, but we are one of the things they will want to see when they are here," said Žigalova.
Žigalova listed potential village visitors from other lands: “Sweden, Norway, Germany and, of course, also Russian. Belarus, Ukraine. We had planned that. Now it all is changing. We are looking at the Baltic for the time being," said Zigalova.
The developers of the “Via Jurmala Outlet Village” invested €27 million in the first round of the village and currently have a rental area of 14.5 thousand square metres. Currently, only 75% of it is occupied, but all rooms are expected to be leased by October.
The project developer is the Outletico Ltd., registered in March 2016. The owners of the company are co-owner of "Western Bank", "Esterkin Family Investments" (64,5%), Andrejs Dozorcevs (28,75%), "Lehmann Investment Corporation" (2%), "Freims" (2%), Jūlija Mihaiļenko (1,25%)