Successive UK governments have tried to forestall the spread of factory outlet centers in the belief that they would deal another blow to existing town centers, which have already been hit hard by the drift to out-of-town and edge-of-town retailing. But with 29 sites up and running, and a further 11 planned to open in the next two years, the factory outlet center phenomenon has already made its mark on the British retail landscape. And it is set to grow even further afield too, as European markets beckon the developers with new growth opportunities.