You are here

outlet Finland

Meet us at MAPIC 2017!

Zsar at MAPIC 2017

Zsar Outlet Village will join MAPIC again this year. Warmly welcome to our stand at the Palais, booth P-1.J63!

Zsar's development company secures 13 hectares of additional land

Zsar Outlet Village secures additional land

Zsar’s development company East Finland Real Estate EFRE Oy has secured a further 13 hectares of commercial land around Zsar’s current 10 hectare site. The land reservation, granted for EFRE by the Municipality of Virolahti, is designated for EFRE's future retail investments.

The area around Zsar Outlet Village is the busiest border crossing point between Russia and the EU, and it is expected to develop into a commercial hot spot in a few years time. The Municipality is endorsing the future developments by investing nearly €6 million into the infrastructure in the area.

"Securing more land is a natural step for EFRE, as we believe that the area will become an amazing retail and leisure destination for Finns and Russians alike. Zsar's location is perfectly situated on the border and in the starting point of the motorway", says Sami Vainiomäki, CEO of EFRE.

Currently motorways are being built from both Helsinki and St. Petersburg to the gates of Zsar. It is estimated that the new motorway from Russia will bring at least a million additional cross-border tourists annually. Direct motorway will also attract affluent Moscovites, which is already a growing incoming group in the Vaalimaa border station, just 500 metres from Zsar.

"We believe that Vaalimaa will be the only logical stopping point from St. Petersburg to Helsinki, and also attract more and more cross-border tourists from the other major border crossing points north of Zsar", Vainiomäki says.

"We are pleased that EFRE is committed to expand its business interests in the Vaalimaa area. That ensures that the area will be developed in a comprehensive and consistent way", says Osmo Havuaho, the Mayor of Virolahti.

Tenant services




There are several services we can offer for our brand partners in helping them to begin and run operations in a cost efficient and reliable way.

Preopening tenant services

  • Store Operations Manual (Zsar rules and regulations), Vanilla Box specification and Shop Fitting Manual available on request
  • Brand specific retail market feasibility study by FSP available on request (find out why they are predicting €7,800 per sqm sales density)
  • Selected service providers for tenants’ market entry and company setup available
  • Highly competitive insurance package for tenants already negotiated
  • Selected service providers in legal counseling in place
  • Staffing services in place for recruiting bilingual staff
  • Selected Human Resources service provider in place
  • Selected contractors for shop fitting available if needed

Tenant services during operations

  • Staff training in retail academy provided by expert retailers (customer service, window displays etc)
  • On site / local storage and warehousing available
  • Comprehensive office services for tenants available
  • Marketing plan for the Finnish and Russian markets in place
  • Strong year-through event program for Finnish, Russian and Asian shoppers in place

Visitor services

  • Tax free refunds and money exchange services on site
  • Bus services from Helsinki city centre, the airport, high-speed train station and St. Petersburg city centre
  • Compelling one-day travel packages to Asian stopover tourists in partnership with Visit Finland, Finnair and other Finnish tourism companies under Stopover Finland Program




Contact Zsar Outlet VillageZsar Outlet Village LinkedInZsar Outlet Village Twitter

Building permit granted for Zsar

Zsar Outlet Village mall

The Building Board of Virolahti Municipality has granted building permit for Zsar. The permit consists of total of 14,500 m2 of building space, including 12,000 m2 of leasable area, management offices and common areas. In addition, it covers a one-level parking area with 940 parking spaces. Earthworks at the site are already underway.

The Zsar project was launched at MAPIC exhibition in November last year. Close to 75% of the space of Phase I is now reserved for international and domestic brands, and number of Heads of Terms have been signed with international premium brands.

Architectural design is now completed, construction plans are ready, all leasing documentation is ready, and preparations for construction start are underway. The construction will begin as soon as 50 - 60% of the space has been leased to brand partners, and it will last for 12-14 months.

“A Change Towards Better Is Now Happening”

Vaalimaa area on the Finnish-Russian border is rapidly developing into a tourist destination

After the decline of the Russian tourism due to the Ruble decline, a change towards better times is already in the horizon in the Finnish-Russian border region in Vaalimaa. A recent tourism survey states that the decrease has reached a turning point, and the local authorities report positive climate among businesses in the region.

”We have had continuous talks with the companies and investors in the region, and despite the economic downturn, the sentiment at the moment seems to be positive. Many of the local businesses say that both January and February have seen growth compared to the same period last year. It seems that the change towards better after the decline in 2014 is now happening”, says Mr. Osmo Havuaho, the Mayor of the Virolahti Municipality.

According to a recent report by a market research company TAK Oy, the Russian tourism in now slowly recovering. Finland’s strengths include easy accessibility and good image among Russian tourists compared to other popular outbound destinations, the report suggests.

Including Zsar Outlet Village, the first open-air outlet village in Finland, there are currently seven different retail real estate developments near the Vaalimaa border crossing point. The latest in the list is a 3,300 m2 high quality food market, Dom Finland, which is set to open just next to the site of Zsar in 2016.

"Currently there are very few retail services in the Vaalimaa region, even if it witnesses 3,000,000 annual border crossings. We are certain that the current development trend will increase the attractiveness of the area to a completely new level within the next few years”, says Pekka Lehtonen, Zsar’s Marketing Director.



Zsar Outlet Village at ICSC Retail Connections, London, 25th of March

Entrance to the Zsar Outlet Village

The Zsar Outlet Village team together with TLC Property Asset Management are happy to present Finland's first outlet village project at ICSC Retail Connections on 25th of March in London.

Join us at the Business Design Centre on our stand G3!


Zsar Outlet Village is the first premium open-air outlet village in Finland. It is located in Vaalimaa, which is the biggest EU-Russian border crossing point in the EU.

In 2014, close to 3 million Russian tourists entered Finland through the Vaalimaa border, just 300 metres from the gates of Zsar. According to various surveys, 70 percent of them say their primary reason to come to Finland is shopping.

Zsar's catchment area is 8,5 million inhabitants, including the fourth biggest city in Europe, St. Petersburg and Helsinki, the capital of Finland.

Zsar Outlet Village offers a unique opportunity to target the massive Russian consumer market from the EU, without most of the risks brands usually associate with operating retail in Russia.

East Finland Real Estate announces €40 million premium outlet shopping village development

Zsar Outlet Village will be the first open air outlet in Finland

Zsar Outlet Village will be the first open air outlet in Finland


The Finnish retail developer East Finland Real Estate Ltd. (EFRE) today announced its first premium outlet centre project, Zsar Outlet Village, which will be the first open air outlet centre in Finland. Zsar is situated in South-Eastern Finland on the Russian border, and it will open its doors in 2016. The estimated investment will be €40 million.

EFRE recently secured possession of a 75,000 m2 land area. The total leasable area at Zsar will reach 20,000 m2 by 2018. The first phase - 12,000m2 - will be opened in 2016. The earthworks at the project site are currently under way. The funding of the first phase construction is arranged by Ajanta Ltd, one of the leading private equity houses in Finland.

Zsar Outlet Village is situated in a unique location on the EU-Russian border, 200 km from St. Petersburg and 170 km from Finland’s capital, Helsinki. The total catchment area is 8.5 million inhabitants within a 200 km radius. It is estimated by the Finnish government that the number of border crossings near Zsar will grow from the current 10 million to 18 million by 2017.

”Zsar enjoys a unique opportunity to target the massive Russian consumer market from the EU, without most of the risks brands usually associate with operating retail in Russia. Every day approximately 10,000 Russian tourists from the St. Petersburg area come to Finland via the border crossing point just 500 metres from Zsar. According to various surveys, 70 percent of them say their primary reason to come to Finland is shopping - and they are very brand aware”, says Sami Vainiomäki, CEO of EFRE.

The village will be built according to the needs of brands and consumers alike to create an attractive and significant shopping destination. In order to make the most of this opportunity, and to avoid the pitfalls befalling other less experienced developers, EFRE has secured the partnership of TLC Property Asset Management (TLC), a specialist consultancy group set up by veterans of the Outlet sector. TLC will be the consulting partner on the design, leasing and operational management of the project.

”We believe Zsar has huge potential to become an important destination for millions of affluent Russian and Finnish shoppers. According to all the research, there is a massive untapped demand for premium brands in the region. Both Russian and Finnish consumers are highly brand and quality oriented, but currently the supply does not meet the demand, leaving a huge gap in the market and a great opportunity for Zsar. As well as the standard 30% discount from normal prices for Finnish customers, Russian tourists also enjoy tax free prices in Finland, which gives Zsar an extra advantage over Russian located Outlets”, says Neil Thompson, Board Director of TLC.

Conceptual illustrations of Zsar Outlet Village can be seen at

EFRE will introduce Zsar Outlet Village at MAPIC, Cannes, on 19-21 November 2014 at booth Palace -1, N61.

More information:

Sami Vainiomäki, CEO
East Finland Real Estate Ltd.
tel. +358 40 833 8793

Facts & Figures

(Soure: Research and analyst company TAK Ltd.)

(Source: Ken Gunn, FSP Retail Business Consultants)

(Source: Ken Gunn, FSP Retail Business Consultants)

According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, Finland is the number one destination country for Russian tourists. Most of the Russians coming to Finland come in their own cars or by shuttle bus via the border crossings near the Zsar Outlet Village. According to a survey by the research and analyst company TAK Ltd, 74% of them say their primary reason for coming to Finland is shopping - due to a wider and better quality brand selection as well as affordable prices. Russians will enjoy tax free shopping in the Zsar Outlet Village, which will represent a great retail opportunity for premium brands.

The Zsar Outlet Village region is a historical vacation resort for the Russian Tsars, and the features of its tsarist heritage are represented in the architecture and appearance of the project. Due to its concept, active destination marketing and year round family events, Zsar provides a unique shopping experience in the Northern Europe.

Download our presentation (pdf)

20,000 m2
 by 2018

1st phase 12,000 m2

110-120 company stores

2nd phase 8,000 m2

70-200 m2/store

1,000 parking spaces


Contact Zsar Outlet VillageZsar Outlet Village LinkedinZsar Outlet Village Twitter