Urban Outfitters to Open Spain’s First Anthropologie Store in Barcelona

25 October  2018 – Eje Prime

The Spanish retail sector is welcoming a new international operator. After an arduous two-year search for premises on the prime high streets of Madrid and Barcelona, Urban Outfitters has found a space to launch its first Anthropologie store in the country. This debut comes four years after the US fashion group first opened its doors in the heart of the Catalan capital.

Anthropologie is soon going to open at number 27 Paseo de Gracia, in a store measuring almost 780 m2, distributed over two floors and owned by a family office. The chain is going to take over from the Italian firm Twinset Milano, which will shut down in the next few days. The rental operation has been brokered by the real estate consultancy firm Aretail.

Specifically, the ground floor of the future Anthropologie establishment has a surface area 365 m2, whilst the basement spans 414 m2. The company will share the street with luxury operators such as Fendi, Céline and Kenzo, as well as with major distribution groups such as Inditex, Fast Retailing, H&M and Mango, amongst others.

Urban Outfitters arrived in the Spanish market in May 2014, when it launched a subsidiary to manage its business in the country. That same year, the group opened the first store of its homonymous chain in the El Triangle shopping centre in Barcelona, where it replaced the home décor firm Habitat.

Two years after its first opening, the US company started to search for new locations both in the Catalan capital and in Madrid to open its first points of sale for Anthropologie and Free People, the other chain owned by Urban Outfitters. In the spring, rumours of the imminent closure of an operation were revived.

Anthropologie is the group’s largest division by turnover, ahead of Urban Outfitters itself. The female fashion chain closed 2017 with sales of $1.4 billion (€1.2 billion), up by 1.9%. That figure accounted for 39.4% of the group’s total revenues.

At the end of its last financial year (31 January 2018), the chain operated 226 stores in the USA, Canada and Europe. The company is immersed in an international expansion process, which includes an overseas growth strategy. For that reason, Anthropologie appointed Peter Ruis, the former director of Levi Strauss, as the senior director of the international business in July.

Original story: Eje Prime (by L. Molina and P. Riaño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Equilis Invests €120M in a Commercial Complex in Esplugues

27 June 2018 – El Mundo

The Belgian real estate firm Equilis is finalising a new shopping centre in Esplugues de Llobregat, which is expected to be inaugurated in November; 90% of the stores in the complex have already been commercialised. The centre, which has received investment of €120 million and which has employed 1,000 people for its construction, will receive up to 8 million visitors per year and will create 500 more jobs once it begins operation, according to forecasts prepared by the company.

The macro-project from the company controlled by the Mestdagh family is a first step in its expansion in Spain, where it expects to begin six projects with a value of €750 million over the next few years, two of which will be in Cataluña, which will receive investment of €200 million – including Esplugues – and four in the rest of the country.

Finestrelles Shopping Center, as the commercial complex in Esplugues is known, is located in the Ca n’Oliveres sector, in the neighbourhood of Can Vidalet, on the plot that exists between Calles Laureà Miró and Sant Mateu. It will have two tunnels that will connect the space with Ronda de Dalt and la Avenida Diagonal.

The surface area of the complex will span 40,000 m2, distributed over five floors, two of which will be dedicated to parking and the rest for commercial use. The centre will contain 110 stores as well as a hall of residence for students with almost 375 beds and a hypermarket. “For the time being, there won’t be any cinemas, but we are not ruling that out”, said Víctor Gómez (pictured above), CEO of the company in Spain.

Original story: El Mundo 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sonae Considers Listing its Retail & RE Service Divisiones

22 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Sonae is considering launching its retail business on the stock market. The Portuguese company has engaged the banks Barclays, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank to explore the leap onto the stock market of its divisions Sonae MC, which is dedicated to food retail, and Sonae RP, the arm dedicated to the group’s real estate services. The fashion and sports division, owners of brands such as Zippy, Losan and Salsa, amongst others, would be left out of the operation.

The group explains in a statement that it is evaluating the potential entry onto the stock market of some of its retail business portfolio, in which it would retain a majority stake. The purpose of this move is to create value for shareholders and ensure stability in the growth of its business.

Sonae carved out its fashion and sports business from the rest of the group in 2016, after purchasing Salsa and Losan. That division, which is called Sports&Fashion, includes the fashion and sports equipment chain Sport Zone; the children’s clothing chain Zippy; the ladies’ fashion label Mo; the outdoor chain Berg; the Spanish chain Losan (…) and the Portuguese firm Salsa, which specialises in denim.

As a whole, the Sonae group closed 2017 with turnover of €5.6 billion, up by 6.9% compared to the previous year. The Sports&Fashion division of the Portuguese retailer saw its revenues rise by 11.7% in 2017 to €589 million, nevertheless, Sonae MC continues to generate the bulk of the business, with sales of €3.9 billion in 2017.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Compagnie Secures Financing for Spain’s Largest New Shopping Centre

28 November 2017 – Expansión

Yesterday, the French group Compagnie de Phalsbourg managed to close financing, amounting to €157 million, for its first shopping centre in Spain: the Open Sky centre in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid), according to Expansión.

The establishment will have a gross leasable area of 85,000 m2, will house 100 stores, 3,500 parking spaces and a large garden area with a central lake.

To obtain the necessary resources for its project, Compagnie de Phalsbourg has resorted to non-bank financing through a competitive process. Sources close to the operation maintain that a single fund has subscribed 100% of the financing. According to the same sources, it is a fund based in the City of London, specialising in the real estate sector.

“This process is a boost for Spain because it shows that international investors, in this case, French and British players, see potential in Spain”, say financial sources. The crisis in Cataluña has not affected the process in this case, whose negotiations started long before the tension escalated in that regard.

The French group expects that Open Sky will be inaugurated by the end of next year. In fact, the first earth movement work has now begun and the land that Compagnie acquired for €110 million from the Town Hall of Torrejón in 2015 is being prepared (…).

The company has already signed agreements with around twenty fashion labels, accessories brands and service providers, including with many high-profile names such as Adidas, Reebok, Decimas, OVS, Okaidi, Merkal, Kiwoko, Orchestra, RKS, Celio, Encuentro Moda and Druni, amongst others. Moreover, the shopping centre will have 11 Cinesa cinema screens with capacity for 1,200 people and it has already signed agreements with restaurant groups such as the Vips group, with its five brands (Vips, Fridays, Ginos, Wagamama and Starbucks); the Zena group (Fosters and Cañas y Tapas) and the Restalia group (100 Montaditos and La Sureña).

Once Open Sky is fully operational, it is expected to generate approximately 1,000 new jobs in the region.

The Spanish investment boutique Alantra has served as the sole advisor to the operation for the French group. In addition, Alantra has advised the firm on three other projects in Spain. Meanwhile, Clifford Chance and Uría have been responsible for providing legal advice (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Andrés Stumpf)

Translation: Carmel Drake

More Than 1 Million People Visit Plaza Río 2 In <1 Month

13 November 2017 – Press Release

On its first two days of opening (20 and 21 October), the Plaza Río 2  shopping centre recorded its highest footfall figures, with 86,000 visitors on each day, taking the average entry rate to 6,000 people per hour. 

Plaza Río 2 expects to receive 1,500,000 visitors between Black Friday and 6 January 2018, which marks the end of the Christmas campaign.

The Plaza Río 2 shopping centre is taking stock of its performance since it opened on 20 October 2017. And it is doing so with a round number. In just over 20 days, it has broken the threshold of 1 million visitors. This data reflects the fact that the public like the wide range of possibilities on offer there.

During its first two days of opening (20 and 21 October), it recorded its highest footfall figures, with 86,000 visitors on each one of those dates, which represents a spectacular average entry rate of 6,000 people per hour. Plaza Río 2 opened on a date that was not particularly well suited to trading, given the weather, which makes the 1 million visitor figure even more impressive. If we look at the days of the week that have received the most footfall, Saturdays are the busiest day so far, followed by the bank holidays.

In terms of where the visitors are coming from, it must be said that they are arriving from both sides of the banks of the Manzanares River. Plaza Río 2 represents a breath of fresh air for the area from a commercial perspective and, moreover, has managed to entice people from other parts of the capital. In short, the new public is on the lookout for new leisure spaces. The managers of the centre are very happy with the results obtained so far and state that they hope to receive 1,500,000 visitors between Black Friday and 6 January 2018.

With 160 establishments filling its 40,000 m2 space, the centre managed by the property developer Sociedad General Inmobiliaria de España (LSGIE) offers a unique shopping experience that has been enhanced by a very interesting gastronomic proposal. The Mirador de Plaza Río 2, with the largest restaurant terrace in Madrid (3,000 m2), is home to 9 dining premises, catering for every culinary taste.

With an investment of €200 million and 100% of the stores leased before it opened, the centre has created 1,800 direct jobs and provided employment to 2,000 people during the construction phase. Moreover, it has managed to attract brands that are not typically found in shopping centres, such as the case of Victoria’s Secret, Armani Exchange and H&M Home.

Plaza Río 2 comprises 6 floors, 3 dedicated to shopping, 2 to parking and 1 to dining. Its modern, urban and state-of-the-art style has made it a commercial attraction for visitors to the Matadero and Madrid Río, as well as for residents of Usera, Arganzuela and Madrid centre. Natural light is the main protagonist of the building, which is equipped with the most advanced systems in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability. It has 35 bays for recharging electric vehicles and the building’s lights automatically adjust the intensity of the light they emit depending on needs.

The French property developer Sociedad General Inmobiliaria de España (LSGIE) has been responsible for undertaking this project, which represents its eighth shopping centre in Spain and its fifth in the Community of Madrid, after it first ventured into the capital in 1983 with Madrid 2 La Vaguada.

Original story: Press Release

Translation: Carmel Drake

Terrassa Plaça Retail Park Will Open On 3 November

27 October 2017 – Press Release

Terrassa has a new retail park, in the form of Terrassa Plaça. With a gross leasable area (GLA) of 30,535 m2, the new complex will be officially inaugurated next Friday 3 November. The event will be attended by authorities from the Generalitat de Cataluña, the Town Hall of Terrassa and representatives of the centre’s operators and Citygrove, the property developer.

The new centre is backed by an investment amounting to €30 million, the creation of more than 500 jobs and will house an extensive and varied retail offer: from the distribution of consumer goods and construction materials to fashion and restaurants. Citygrove’s aim with Terrassa Plaça is to cover the growing demand from the local population for these types of services. An entire commercial offer centralised in a single space.

Famous brands

This new project will open its doors with the following brands in situ: Bricomart, Mercadona, Globomoda, Altafit Gym Club, Gifi, Kiwoko, Barimueble, Sprinter, La Tagliatella, Pause&Play, Maxcolchón, Drim and Petrocat. All of them are looking to take an important step in their expansion here and to establish themselves as iconic labels in the minds of consumers. That is especially true in the case of the Italian company Globomoda, which has chosen to open its first store in Cataluña in Terrassa Plaça.

The complex is located on a plot measuring 56,000 m2 delimited by Avenida del Vallès, Calle Navarra, Avenida de las Naciones and Calle Cantabria. Its construction has allowed for improvements to the transport network in the area, with the creation of a pedestrian crossing on Calle Cantabria (…). In addition, the retail park will have an electric vehicle charging station, plus 1,000 parking spaces for cars and 70 for bikes, as well as a new bus route. Within the next few days, a new bike path will be opened between the city centre and the retail park.

Terrassa Plaça is the city’s new commercial offer and represents one of the most ambitious projects from Citygrove, the Anglo-Saxon property developer who has shaped this project. A key player in the real estate sector in Europe, with offices in the UK and Germany, Citygrove backed Terrassa from day one with the aim of turning it into a commercial benchmark project for the city, which was demanding this type of facility.

Original story: Press Release

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hyatt Wants To Grow In Spain & Places Its Focus On Madrid & Barcelona

24 October 2017 – Expansión

All of the stars are aligned for Hyatt’s return to Madrid. After almost a decade away, the US chain will return to the capital at the end of the year, with what will be its second hotel in the country, following the opening of Park Hyatt Mallorca in June 2016. What’s more, it is looking for new opportunities to strengthen its presence in the country, according to Gonzalo Maggi, Director General of Hyatt Centric Gran Vía Madrid.

For its debut in the capital, the luxury hotel group has chosen the building at number 31 on Madrid’s iconic Gran Vía. The building is owned by the Mexican family group Exacorp, and used to house the legendary Zahara coffee shop and the famous lottery office of Doña Manolita.

“Hyatt wants to continue investing in Spain. We do not have any specific projects under consideration at the moment, but we are looking for opportunities to continue growing in the country”, said Maggi, who mentions Madrid and Barcelona as the places where the group is placing its focus when it comes to strengthening its presence.

At the end of July, the multi-national owned 731 hotels around the world, and it has opened one hundred establishments in the last year alone.

In terms of Madrid, the chain, which managed Hotel Villa Magna for almost two decades until 2008, has this market on its radar. “We think that it is a very important city in Europe. Since we left Madrid, we have been trying to return, but we weren’t able to find any project that was worth it until now”, he said.

“Hyatt has 13 brands and we are considering which ones fit with this market. In addition to Centric, the Regency brand could suit the city”, he added.

With its arrival on Gran Vía, Hyatt will be the first in a long line of international luxury chains, such as Four Seasons and the Aloft and W brands – from Starwood – , that are going to arrive in the centre of Madrid over the next few years: “One of the advantages we have over the competition is that we are going to be one of the first to arrive on Gran Via in the five star segment. Our product will be distinctive all by itself. It will serve as a starting point for visitors to explore the city and as an icon for leisure in the local market”.

Timetable

The Hyatt Centric Gran Vía, with 159 rooms, will open its doors in December and will have 88 employees. The establishment will have a rooftop terrace, which will be inaugurated a few months later, probably in the spring of 2018.

The owner of the building, which used to be leased as office space, spent €30 million renovating the asset, which Hyatt wants to turn into a flagship property for its Centric brand in Europe. The hotel’s features will include a vermouth bar, Ondas, with a design that imitates that of a music studio, and an Ice and Coal restaurant, with a local gastronomic offering.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Flagship Stores Become The Bastion Of Large Retailers

19 October 2017 – Expansión

The unstoppable rise of e-commerce, the tsunami of digitalisation and the new buying habits of consumers have revolutionised the retail sector forcing operators to adapt to the new times to stay competitive.

The e-commerce sector is now turning over €24,000 million per annum in Spain, with a growth rate of 20% p.a. In this context, consumers are increasingly using the internet to manage their purchases, resolve queries and optimise their visits to stores. As such, they are visiting stores less frequently but they are spending more time there when they do go, according to a report from CBRE about the retail sector.

In this context, large international brands are backing the flagship store model as a gateway into Spain; and operators that have traditionally based themselves on the outskirts of cities are now moving into flagship stores in the centre. By way of example, the French firm Kiabi opened a store on Paseo de Gràcia a few months ago. In the same way, operators who have traditionally had stores in retail parks are now making space for themselves in the city centre, such as Media Markt, which opened two stores in the centre of Barcelona in 2016. Before the summer, the electronics firm also opened its new its flagship store in Plaza del Carmen, Madrid, just a stone’s throw from Gran Vía.

Ikea is joining this trend too, with a store on Calle Serrano; as is Leroy Merlin, which is planning to open a shop on Calle Fontanella, next to Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona

Interest in Spain

“Physical stores are still the favourite channel for consumers, but it is harder to get people out of the house. To attract them, retailers are opening large flagship stores focused on the shopping experience and expanding the range of services, supported by new technologies that allow marketing strategies to be customised”, explains Gonzalo Senra, National Director of Retail at CBRE España (…).

Given the interest from large brands in Spain and encouraged by the upwards cycle of the economy and the improvement in consumption, many overseas institutional investors have decided to back the Spanish market. For example, the US investor Hines has purchased four important prime premises in Madrid and Barcelona in the last year.

These types of investors are the main buyers of flagship stores in well-located premises, involving investment volumes of more than €20 million. Moreover, sources at the consultancy firm have noted a change in the trend in this market with the entry of several insurance companies bidding for large prime assets.

By contrast, the market for smaller acquisitions is dominated by Spanish private investors and family offices – they tend to be particularly interested in assets worth less than €10 million.

Overall, investment in high street premises amounted to €800 million in 2016. The rate of investment continued during the first half of this year, with an investment volume of €515 million, according to data from the consultancy firm (…).

The high level of demand has accentuated the typical shortage of well-positioned products and resulted in a reduction in returns. According to the report, the downward trend in yields continued in 2017 to reach 3.25% in some cases for the most prime products in Madrid and Barcelona (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Global Brands Colonise The Centre Of Barcelona

13 September 2017 – El País

(…). Demand from major operators, such as Zara, Uniqlo, H&M and even Seat, for flagship stores in city centres is boosting investment in these types of high-street establishments. According to a study by the real estate consultancy JLL, such investment amounted to €402 million across Spain during the first quarter of 2017

Examples of flagship stores (…) are found in the centre of Spain’s major cities. One of the most paradigmatic is Primark’s store, which occupies more than 7,000 m2 on La Gran Vía in Madrid (..). Flagship stores are essentially an image, a tourist attraction, where the entire collection of a company is presented and where consumers can also do online shopping and collect orders. It is also very typical for brands to make presentations and hold events at their stores.

In Barcelona, the H&M, Zara and Massimo Dutti stores on Paseo de Gracia, and the large store in the Born neighbourhood where the sunglasses brand Etnia took up residence this year, are examples of the presence of flagship stores in the Catalan capital. On 20 September, Uniqlo, the Japanese competitor of Inditex, will open a large store, also on Paseo de Gracia. But the interest in these types of establishments is not limited to the world of fashion. Companies such as Seat, Ikea and Leroy Merlin, and even large banking institutions, have all expressed their interest in raising their profiles on the main commercial thoroughfares.

“It is the way the brands have of positioning themselves in the market”, explains Daniel Jiménez, Director of Retail at the real estate consultancy Aguirre Newman. Jiménez says that there is a great deal of demand for these types of premises, and that the brands do not settle for any old shop: they want open-plan spaces, in good locations with attractive architectural features.

The effect on local trade

The main streets where the demand is being concentrated in Barcelona are Paseo de Gracia and Portal del Ángel, the most expensive high street in Spain, where prices amount to €3,360/m2, according to a report from Acotex. “The brands fight for premises, whilst the buyers, normally international investment funds, obtain a return of between 3.5% and 3.75% in Barcelona”, says Jiménez.

The emergence of large stores, through which the major international brands demonstrate their power, certainly has an effect on local businesses. The first and most obvious impact is the rise in rental prices. Joan Carles Calbet, President of Comertia and RetailCat, the new association of Catalan traders, celebrates the fact that increasingly more people want to invest in Barcelona. “But these types of stores distort the equilibrium of the city, because they (the large players) can afford to pay a lot more than local businesses, which leads to very high inflation”, says Calbet.

“We risk losing local businesses, which define the character of the city”, adds the President of RetailCat, an association that represents almost 30,000 local businesses (…).

Original story: El País (by Josep Catà)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Klépierre Buys Nueva Condomina Shopping Centre (Murcia)

25 May 2017 – Expansión

Klépierre has strengthened its presence in Spain with the purchase of the Nueva Condomina shopping centre (Murcia), which is worth €233 million, according to a statement issued by the French multi-national.

Specifically, as a result of this acquisition, Nueva Condomina is now the third most important asset in Klépierre’s Spanish portfolio in terms of net rental income.

The property covers a surface area of 110,000 m2, split between the shopping centre (73,000 m2) and the retail park (37,000 m2).

Last year, the Murcian shopping centre received more than 11 million visitors and recorded store sales of €257 million. Tenants include several brands from the Inditex group, as well as Mango and Fnac.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake