29 September 2016 – Mis Locales
The Venezuelan Sambil Group plans to open a network of between six and eight shopping centres in Spain and does not rule out expanding its business to other markets in Europe.
Nevertheless, before embarking on its new projects, the company will focus on establishing what is, for now, its only centre in Spain: the Sambil Outlet in Leganés (Madrid), which will open its doors on 24 March 2017, after more than four years of construction work. It will become the largest outlet and leisure space in Spain with a gross leasable area of 43,000 sqm.
The new centre, which will open on a site on the ill-fated M-40 and in which Sambil has invested around €55 million, will create around 1,500 jobs and require additional investment of between €25 million and €30 million to equip the premises for each brand.
According to Cohen (Director General of the Sambil Group), the company has chosen Spain to make its first foray into Europe because it was “ideal” from both a cultural and language perspective, as well as because it has a lot to offer in the corporate field and is attractive again for overseas investors.
“It is a rapidly-growing, mature and legally secure market, which needs entrepreneurship”, said Cohen, who stated that the country “has all of the tools to continue outperforming other markets around the world”.
The Executive highlighted that a company such as his, which is family based and has its headquarters in Venezuela, does not travel “7,000 kilometres” to open one shopping centre, and he added that in Spain his company’s focus is very much placed on the most populous cities -Barcelona, Sevilla, Bilbao, Valencia, etc-.
Although the group is strongly committed to the “outlet” format, it does not rule out opening “traditional” shopping centres in some of the cities, although, in both cases, they would be accompanied by leisure and restaurant facilities.
In this sense, he highlighted that the Sambil Outlet will have the largest wind tunnel in Europe and the most modern cinema screens, which will be run by the Odeon chain, which is working to make cinema-going more “accessible”.
Moreover, it will house the largest Simply (Alcampo) supermarket in the Community of Madrid.
The company thinks that between 5 and 6 million people will pass through the doors of its centre in Leganés during its first year of activity. It has faith in the success of the “outlet” format combined with leisure, which is currently fashionable in countries such as the USA (…).
“Post-crisis, the Spanish consumer is much more rational than emotional” stated the Director of Sambil in Spain, Arnold Moreno, who confirmed that the centre will open with an occupancy rate of at least 80%.
Sambil Outlet will have stores from discount brands such as For&From (the Inditex group’s footwear label), Mango, Fifty Factory (Cortefiel), Décimas and Xti, as well as “low cost” fashion stores.
The Sambil Group has constructed more than 500 residential buildings and offices and owns a portfolio of eight hotels and thirteen shopping centres – ten located in Venezuela, one in the Dominican Republic and one in Curaçao.
Original story: Mis Locales
Translation: Carmel Drake