JOHOR BARU: The much talked-about Johor Premium Outlets (JPO) will be even more of a shopping haven many other major international brands are set to open there with millions of ringgit to be invested in the project.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that Genting Simon would spend RM100mil to increase the number of outlets from the present 70 to 130 under its second phase.
JPO is owned and operated by Genting Simon, a 50:50 joint venture between Genting Plantations unit Azzon Ltd and Premium Outlets, the outlet division of Simon Property Group Inc.
The Prime Minister described the response since the JPO’s opening last week as “beyond expectations”, pointing out that JPO was set to draw three million visitors within the first year of operations.
“Genting is also expected to invest up to RM1bil to develop the area, including constructing a 2,000-room hotel together with a water-theme park and a meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition centre (MICE).
“This will put Kulaijaya and Iskandar Malaysia in the world map,” he said yesterday at the opening of the JPO in Kulaijaya, located north of the state capital.
Najib said that with more than 70 outlets offering luxury and designer brands like Armani, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Versace and Zegna, among others, the JPO caters for both men and women with prices 70% off retail.
“Out of the 131 entry point projects announced by the Government, 72 have taken off within the last year and the JPO is among the first projects to be announced,” he said.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the JPO would play an important role in helping to draw more domestic and foreign investors to the region.
“I’m sure there will be visitors from across South-East Asia and the Middle East,” he said, adding that European tourists should also take advantage of the country’s favourable exchange rate.
Premium Outlets Simon Property Group CEO John R. Klien said construction of JPO’s second phase would begin in the next two years and would feature an additional 60 branded outlets.
Klien said costs for the second phase would be “close” to that of the existing phase (about RM150mil) and would take about 12 to 18 months to construct.
“We are also looking at other areas to set up Premium Outlets in Malaysia but this is still being discussed,” he said.
On the number of visitors who have visited JPO so far, he said the statistics were still being tabulated but estimated it to be in the “tens of thousands” since its soft launch about a week ago.
“Of course, many of our visitors are from Singapore.
“However, we are also marketing JPO to other countries in the region,” he said, adding that traditionally 50% of the visitors to the outlets were shoppers from outside the country.
Source : The Star