Chic Outlet Shopping, a collection of nine luxury shopping villages across Europe including Bicester Village in Oxfordshire, is launching a new group and events strategy designed to appeal to the meetings and events market.
The villages, organised by parent company Value Retail, will now target corporates, agencies, venues, convention bureaux and congress centres to host events in their venue spaces.
“We are developing a new, unique and leading market position for our clients,” Thibault Ruffat, Head of European Tourism at Chic Outlet Shopping told CN. “We want to create something different, and are offering the village ambience to delegates who want to experience anything from small to large spaces.”
The company has a target of 800 events set for 2014; with 280 events attracting 22,000 attendees already staged this year. Value Retail is looking to increase that number with the launch of four distinct products aimed at the MICE market: Groups, Special Events, Meetings, and Incentives.
“With these packages, we can offer bespoke deals to include chauffeur-driven transport, exclusive brand offers, personal shoppers, hands-free shopping, assigned VIP parking and multilingual sign language guides,” added Ruffat. Exclusive hire of the Villages for events is also to be promoted.
The villages provide a mix of international brands including Versace, Bally, Mulberry, Thomas Pink and Yves Saint Laurent, all offering savings on the recommended retail price all year round.
Ian Stazicker, Tourism Director of Chic Outlet Shopping said the company expects high demand for its four MICE products from Europe as well as from further afield.
“Good value luxury is an ideal fit for many companies as people will never stop aspiring and the Villages provide a perfect platform for companies to deliver their event objectives and for corporate, convention and tradeshow groups to incorporate into their programmes,” he said.
Value Retail has appointed Marnie Kovacs as Head of MICE, to drive the new strategy. Marnie brings 18 years of experience representing high-profile businesses including CHI Hotels & Resorts, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Ian Schrager Hotels and The Dorchester Collection.
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