Troyes is the first city in Europe with the highest concentration of factory outlet stores, with 4 outlet centres and 200 outlet stores. All year round, good deals can be made with 30 % to 50 % discounts on major clothing and textile brands.
The origin of outlet stores in Troyes
In the 1950s, the first factory outlet stores were opened in Troyes. Back then, the idea was to sell damaged or discontinued items at a discounted price. These shops were only opened to the staff of the factory. Later on, this advantage was also given to the family and friends of the textile factory employees.
In the 1970s, dedicated shops were progressively built next to the factories. These direct sales shops were then opened to anyone. Little by little, in the 1980s, they were moved away from their production site and grouped together. Ten years later, they migrated to the outskirts of Troyes.
« With a 85 000 square metres sales area, Troyes is the European capital of outlet centres. »
The outlet centres or groups of factory outlet stores
The first factory outlet centre was created in 1991 with the opening of « Marques City » in Pont-Sainte-Marie, in the North-East of Troyes. This historical outlet centre has around thirty shops selling about a hundred brands of clothes and textile.
Then, the outlet centre « Marque Avenue Troyes » was set up in Saint-Julien-les-Villas in the South-East of Troyes. This second outlet centre was created in a rehabilitated textile factory and opened in March 1993. It has around fifty destocking shops and offers more than 150 famous brands.
In 1995, « Mc Arthur Glen », the third big outlet centre, was created next to « Marques City ». The Anglo-Saxon brand owns 24 outlet centres in 9 countries. « Mc Arthur Glen Troyes » was completely renovated in 2007 following an innovative concept. About a hundred shops are organised like a village on a surface of nearly 30 000 square metres, in an architecture inspired from the half-timbered houses of the historical centre of the city of Troyes.
The latest addition to the outlet centres is « Village de Marques », which has been built not far from “Mc Arthur Glen Troyes” in Pont-Sainte-Marie. With a modern and elegant design, it has 13 factory outlet stores built around a square with a playground for children.
A textile skills heritage coming from the historical past of Troyes
The locals’ skills in the textile industry go back to the 12th century. There were many weavers, drapers and dyers in Troyes. Hosiery appeared as early as 1505 when a hosiery society declared its statutes. Hosiery was first made in Troyes before the production of stockings became a local specialty.
In 1630, the first factory of sheets and knitwear was created. Another opened in 1746 with the first cotton stocking looms. In 1846, there were already 10 800 knitting looms in Troyes and in the Aube department. In 1903, more than half of the French hosiery was made in Troyes!
Nowadays, the future of hosiery in Aube goes to the development of technical textiles for the use of medical, automobile, sports and construction sectors. Based in Troyes, the French Institute of Textile and Clothing assists the companies of the textile industry in their research and development projects.