On July 9th, 2015, European fashion and retail maverick McArthur Glen Designer Outlet made history with the unveiling of the company’s first North American centre near YVR airport in Richmond, BC.
An open-air extravaganza of brands like Armani, Ports, Coach, and Hugo Boss, McArthur Glen Vancouver’s initial phase of 240,000 square feet has the ambiance of a whimsical hamlet with interconnected piazzas, tree-lined streets, bench seating below colourful hanging baskets or wrought iron streetlamps, and intriguing displays of public art including a soaring polished steel and copper whale sculpture by First nations artist, Michael Yahgulanaas.
Envisioned by French designer Andres Decaluwe, the mall’s architecture is a meticulously balanced marriage of local and European traditions. The main entry takes it visual cue from the peaked, green rooflines of historic Hotel Vancouver. Other inspirations come from the rugged, natural timbers seen in Whistler and the terra cotta and arched windows of Italy.
Even eateries have a special story. Local establishments like Bibo Pizzeria, Ryuu Izakaya Shush, Japadog and Caffé Artigiano were chosen for their excellence and distinctive offerings.
McArthur Glen’s European roots run deep, having luxury retail centres near Paris, Milan, Rome, Salzburg, Luxembourg, Berlin and almost a dozen more Western European cities.
“We don’t build shopping centres so much as we create villages — a destination where people stay for the day and where there are always activities happening in addition to shopping,” says Robert Thurlow, general manager. “Many of our retail partners have been looking for an opportunity to enter the Canadian market but haven’t been able to find a venue they felt was appropriate — until now. I believe this location is going to be the jewel in McArthur Glen’s crown.”