Attractions put Kotka Old Port in pole position

Recent market research shows great enthusiasm for the Kotka Old Port Designer Outlet Village. According to recent market research, consumers in both Helsinki and St. Petersburg  are excited about the city of Kotka and the planned Old Port Outlet Village. Together with the lively city centre, the future premium brand outlet site on its waterfront and special attractions, puts Kotka in pole position when it comes to shopping destinations in Southern Finland.

Five focus groups were conducted in Helsinki amongst Kotka Old Port’s target shoppers. The research highlighted that there is a strong desire for an international style outlet centre in Finland, and Kotka is seen as ideal in terms of both location and experience. Kotka is considered to be far enough from full price stores in Helsinki to attract great brands and a contrast to the border regions which are seen as distant, with little there to interest them. Also, the architectural design by renowned AHR of the Kotka Old Port was well liked, with the centre being enclosed being particularly favoured. Most of the respondents have visited Kotka, with many commenting on its strong relationship with the sea and are aware of the existing reasons to visit.

“What the brands are responding well to is the fact that it will be a leisure destination as well as an outlet”, says Luca de Ambrosis Ortigara, Founder and Managing Partner of DEA, in Milan. “This concept is still missing in Finland.”

A quantitative survey was also conducted in July with 2,000 St. Petersburg residents, of whom a fifth visited Finland to shop at least once a year. The survey amongst those visiting Finland highlighted that Kotka was already the fourth most visited town for shopping in Finland. 37% of those interviewed have visited Kotka.

Importantly 39% would be interested in visiting a new outlet centre in Kotka, rising to 47% amongst those who have visited outlet centres elsewhere.

The respondents also gave valuable feedback on target brands and leisure attractions to make Kotka a success.

In 2017, the first phase of Kotka Old Port will host 100 outlet stores with a lot of further attractions to come and  see. The  destination, when completed, will comprise 200 outlet stores, two hotels, restaurants, and a marina. It will also be a cruise destination. 20 hectares at the very heart of the city will be developed into an attractive place to stay and enjoy. 

In the summer of 2017, the International Tall Ships Race will sail in Kotka waters. Kotka will again host the annual Kotka Maritime week, one of biggest festivals in Finland. According to Kotka’s mayor Henry Lindelöf, it is also likely, that there will be a permanent changing exhibition of the Russian classical arts by the Museum of Russian Arts at the Kotka Old Port. Already in port, there in a landmark architecturally, the national maritime museum of Finland will be a hub of the events like also the popular Kotka Baltic Sea aquarium.