Outlet mall owner and operator Value Retail tapped into the growth of Chinese tourism better than perhaps any other company in the world. Now it is facing a serious hit from the outbreak of coronavirus in China and beyond.
Value Retail, which was founded in the 1990s by Scott Malkin, owns nine outlet malls in the UK and Europe and two in China. Its flagship mall, Bicester Village, outside of London, is a huge destination for Chinese tourists in the UK, and its popularity allowed the company to launch two Chinese schemes, one in Suzhou in 2014, and one adjacent to the Shanghai Disney theme park in 2016.
But as a result of the recent coronavirus outbreak, the two parks have been temporarily closed. Coronavirus was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan. As of Sunday, more than 35,000 people in 28 countries had contracted the virus, and more than 900 had died, a greater death toll than the SARS virus epidemic of 2003.
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