THE O2 arena could become one of London’s top shopping destinations after Land Securities began talks with its owner to open a designer outlet centre on the site.
The property giant has signed a six-month exclusivity agreement with AEG Europe to explore options for creating a designer outlet scheme in an unused part of the former Millennium Dome.
The scheme would rival Bicester Village in Oxfordshire, the UK’s leading designer outlet and one of the most popular shopping destinations outside of London for foreign tourists.
Outlets have also benefited since the recession from rising numbers of British shoppers seeking discounts on designer labels.
Rival developer Quintain opened London’s first designer outlet village in Wembley in October last year hoping to replicate Bicester’s success and offering discounts of up to 70 per cent on brands such as Marks & Spencer, LK Bennett and Nike.
However, the O2 Arena scheme is expected to aim for more luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Dior.
The move will also help AEG to boost footfall at the arena during the day and complement its success as a night-time venue.
The concert promoter has already secured planning permission for around 230,000 square feet of retail space at the site, which could hold around 100 shops and restaurants.
The scheme would be mainly developed on the ground floor of the venue and on a balcony on one of the upper levels.
A person familiar with the scheme said Land Securities and AEG will form a joint venture at the end of the six-month period if talks are successful and the scheme proves feasible.
Lunson Mitchenall is said to be advising AEG while Montagu Evans is acting for Land Securities.