Investments in Shopping Centres Falls Due to Concerns about E-Commerce

18 December 2019 – Investments in 2019 in shopping centres totalled €1.018 billion in the year to September, the lowest level since 2013. The volume of acquisitions in the same period was just 35% of the level in 2018, when it reached €2.9 billion. Analysts expect that total acquisitions for the year will reach between 1.500 and 2 billion euros, according to a report by CBRE.

The fall in investment in the sector is in large part due to the untrammelled growth in e-commerce even as sales in shopping centres remain robust. The revenues generated by e-commerce in Spain increased by 22.2% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, reaching €10.969 billion and an 8% market share.

Original Story: Eje Prime

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Moraleja Green Gets a Makeover with 19 New Stores

7 March 2019 – Expansión

Moraleja Green, the shopping centre located in Alcobendas, in north  Madrid, saw its visitor numbers increase by 12% in Q4 2018, following the completion of a €12 million renovation project by its owner Kennedy Wilson. The US fund purchased the shopping centre, which has a surface area of 30,200 m2 and 1,300 parking spaces, from ING in 2015. Following its renovation, the medium-high end retail space opened 14 new stores last year and will welcome five more in 2019, with brands such as Mango, Dolores Promesas, Scalpers Women, Poete and Parfois all opening premises.

Shopping centres in Spain are enjoying something of a renaissance, despite the surge in online shopping. They offer consumers a plethora of in-person entertainment options besides retail, including gastronomic, leisure and sports facilities.

In particular, Moraleja Green’s renovation has allowed it to expand its gastronomic offering to include Tierra Burrito, Pizza Jardin and NYB restaurants, amongst others. The shopping centre also offers charging points for electric vehicles and access to wifi throughout its premises.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Finestrelles Shopping Centre Opens with a 98% Occupancy Rate

27 November 2018 – Eje Prime

The Finestrelles shopping centre has fired the starting gun. The complex, located in the Catalan town of Esplugues de Llobregat, on the outskirts of Barcelona, has opened its doors today after two years under construction.

Finestrelles, which has a commercial surface area of 40,000 m2, spread over five floors, has opened with an occupancy rate of 98%. The complex contains 110 stores, with tenants of the calibre of JD Sports, Mango, H&M, Zara and other Inditex chains.

For the construction of the shopping centre, which is owned by the Belgian real estate firm Equilis, an investment of €120 million has been made and 1,500 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be generated. Moreover, the complex is expected to attract 8 million visitors during its first year given that it is located along one of the main entrances into Barcelona.

Initially, Finestrelles was scheduled to open at the beginning of October, but according to the construction firm, due to the poor meteorological conditions, a decision was taken to delay the opening until the end of November.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Footfall in Spain’s Shopping Centres Falls by 1.7% in September after Upturn in August

9 October 2018

According to the National ShopperTrak Index, revenues generated by the beginning of the school year were unable to compensate for the fall in consumption stemming from the end of the summer holidays. So far this year, footfall in Spain’s malls has fallen in seven of the nine months analysed.

Footfall dropped once again in Spanish shopping centres. Traffic in Spain’s shopping centres fell by 1.7% in September compared to the same month last year, according to the National ShopperTrak Index. The decrease came after a rise in footfall during August of 1.4%, year-on-year.

Monthly, footfall slumped by 6.3% in September. ShopperTrak linked to retreat to the end of the summer holidays, as revenues stemming from the beginning of the school year failed to make up for the seasonal variation. The retail intelligence firm argued that abnormally high temperatures in September also led to a reduction in spending on gear for the coming colder weather.

Footfall in Spain’s shopping centres began the year with a fall of 0.3% in January. In February, footfall increased by 1%, but then fell again during five consecutive between March and July. August saw a brief upturn with year-on-year growth of 1.4%.

Original Story: EjePrime

Translation: Richard Turner

Torre Sevilla Shopping Centre Opens its Doors

26 September 2018 – Eje Prime

Torre Sevilla has been completed, six years on. The shopping centre, promoted by CaixaBank, will open its doors to the public today, whereby culminating an urban development program that began to take shape in the 1990s. The complex alone, located in the centre of Sevilla, has involved an investment of €100 million, a third of the total amount spent on the macro-project.

Torre Sevilla is opening its doors at the height of the Retail Apocalypse and at a turbulent time for the sector in Sevilla: Palmas Altas announced last week that it has changed its name to Lagoh, whilst the Alcora shopping centre project has been cancelled.

The new complex in Sevilla is a mixed development that includes, as well as a shopping centre, an office building, a Eurostars hotel, CaixaForum Sevilla and Parque de Magallanes. The shopping centre, designed by the Argentinian architect César Pelli, comprises two large buildings with a gross leasable area (GLA) of 26,700 m2 and a constructed surface area of 43,000 m2.

The complex will open its doors with a 95% occupancy rate, and with Primark, Fnac and Ikea as the drivers. “People don’t go shopping anymore, they go for a walk, and formats such as hypermarkets are no longer the drivers”, explains Antonio Cayuela, President of BuildingCenter and sole administrator of Puerto Triana (the company that controls the complex).

In this sense, Cayuela emphasises the location of Torre Sevilla, in the heart of the city, and its integration with the office building and hotel, which ensures footfall “every day of the week”.

“Shopping centres are changing, just like retail: the trend is now returning to local businesses, with smaller but very accessible formats, close to the city”, says the executive. The property developer forecasts that the centre will receive around 8 million visitors per year.

Torre Sevilla’s offer includes, amongst others, the first stores from Ikea, Primark and Xiaomi in the city centre, as well as restaurants and services such as a gym and a catering facility – a cross between a supermarket and a restaurant – serving homemade food to take away.

“Hypermarkets are no longer the drivers”, says Cayuela. “We have ruled out cinemas, because they occupy a lot of space, because there are lots of them and because in the era of Netflix, they are no longer attractive”, he says.

“Omnichannel” corner to compete with the internet 

In this sense, Torre Sevilla is also planning to incorporate new concepts over the medium term to encourage omnichannel integration and attract footfall to the complex at a time when the online channel is gaining more and more traction.

In this sense, the company will launch a space called Omni Tech, which will integrate different omnichannel tools, such as click and collect. “We want to be a leader in the implementation of new ideas in terms of omnichannels; although I do not think that the online channel will ever completely substitute a physical purchase, it is important to have a good experience in person to attract people to stores”, says the executive.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Iria P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vukile Finalises Purchase of 4 Shopping Centres from Unibail for €490M

18 July 2018 – Idealista News

One of the deals of the year in the shopping centre sector is on the verge of completion. The South African fund Vukile, through its Spanish real estate vehicle Castellana Properties Socimi, is in the process of buying four shopping centres from the European giant Unibail-Rodamco for €489 million. Castellana Properties, which also acquired the Habaneras shopping centre in May, is going to add the Bahía Sur, El Faro, Los Arcos and Vallsur complexes to its asset portfolio in Spain, all of which are currently owned by the French company specialising in shopping centres.

Vukile will acquire these assets in a block purchase, although Unibail-Rodamco had been negotiating their sale with other groups, such as Lar España and Klépierre, on an individual basis. The French group, which completed its integration with the Australian firm Westfield in June, has signed a binding offer agreement with Castellana Properties for €489 million. According to sources familiar with the operation, that amount may decrease before the final sale is signed.

From now on, Castellana Properties Socimi will have the following shopping centres in its portfolio: Bahía Sur, which spans 59,300 m2 and is located in Cádiz, close to Puerto Real and San Fernando; El Faro, which spans 66,300 m2 and is located in Badajoz; Los Arcos, located in Sevilla, with a surface area of 44,000 m2; and Vallsur, located in Valladolid with a surface area of 36,000 m2.

The sale of these four assets forms part of the operation carried out last year with Barnasud, the complex acquired by Meridia Capital, a Catalan fund owned by the businessman Javier Faus, who paid Unibail-Rodamco €35 million for the asset (…).

Currently, the group led by Christophe Cuvillier has a portfolio in Spain worth €3.556 billion and receives 126.2 million visitors per year. Those assets account for 10% of its global portfolio.

Castellana Properties, on a mission to acquire shopping centres in Spain

Since its creation, Vukile has been increasing its portfolio of assets in Spain through Castellana Properties in a frenetic way. In July last year, Vukile purchased nine retail parks from Redevco Iberian Ventures, the joint venture between the real estate company specialising in retail Redevco and the funds managed by the global alternative asset management company Ares Management, for €193 million.

Before the end of the year, Castellana Properties formalised the purchase of two retail spaces located in Granada and Murcia for €65 million (…).

The only operation signed by Vukile and Castellana Properties so this year has been the purchase of the Habaneras shopping centre for more than €80 million (…).

Original story: Idealista News (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

ECE Finalises Purchase of 3 Shopping Centres from Sonae & CBRE GI for €450M

8 June 2018 – Eje Prime

The portfolio of shopping centres jointly owned by Sonae Sierra and CBRE Global Investors could be on the verge of having a new owner. The German company ECE is reportedly finalising the purchase of three shopping centres from the two groups for between €450 million and €500 million, according to sources close to the operation speaking to Eje Prime. Sonae Sierra and CBRE GI jointly own these three assets (50% each).

With the purchase of this portfolio, ECE would begin to acquire its first assets in Spain, given that since it carried out the acquisition of Auxideico Gestión in 2010, a company specialising in the management of retail complexes and which previously belonged to ING Real Estate Development, it has not closed any transaction of this kind.

The centres that may be added to the portfolio of the German firm ECE are: Gran Casa en Zaragoza, the largest of the three; Valle Real (Cantabria); and Max Center (Barakaldo, Bizkaia). The two current owners already announced when the sales process was launched that they expected to pocket around €500 million from the sale.

If the operation with ECE goes ahead, it will represent the real estate giant’s first purchase in Spain since its arrival. Eight years ago, the group headquartered in Hamburg and the leader of the European market in urban shopping centres, acquired the Spanish firm Auxideico Gestión, which was, at the time, responsible for the management of fourteen shopping centres.

Until last year and following its acquisition by ECE, the group controlled more than 25 retail complexes in Spain, including Albufera Plaza, Montecarmelo and Moraleja Green in Madrid, Alcalá Magna in Alcalá de Henares and Parc Central in Tarragona. In 2017, Auxideico finally stopped operating in Spain due to “its small business volume”, according to sources in the sector. Across Europe, ECE has more than 195 shopping centres under management.

ECE, a giant with a healthy investor appetite

Founded in 1965 by Werner Otto, ECE now has more than half a century of experience in the sector under its belt. The family-owned company develops, plans, builds, leases and manages shopping centres and invests in real estate projects.

With a retail surface area of 7.2 million m2 and around 21,000 retail operators, the shopping centres managed by ECE generate annual sales of more than €23 billion and have a market value of €30 billion. Moreover, ECE has a stock of shopping centres under construction and being planned, with an investment volume of €3.2 billion.

ECE, in addition to specialising in the management of shopping centres, also operates in the real estate sector with other types of assets. The company owns a portfolio of logistics assets spanning 913,000 m2 and office buildings measuring 1 million m2.

Shopping centres, a good business in Spain

The fact that a group such as ECE is showing interest again in this business in Spain is due to the good outlook that the studies predict for the sector. Spanish people both visited and spent more in shopping centres in 2017, and the turnover in this types of assets increased by 1.5% last year with respect to the previous year, whilst visitor footfall grew by 1.1% YoY.

The sectors that performed the best last year with respect to 2016 in terms of sales were the household, leisure and restaurant segments, with increases of 5%, 3,7% and 2,7%, respectively, according to a report from Cushman&Wakefield (…).

Shopping centres will continue to be the most sought-after assets by investors, primarily international funds. The Spanish retail market closed 2017 with 555 active shopping centres and a stock spanning 15.8 million m2, according to the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres (AECC).

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Expects Torre Glòries to be Fully Occupied by 2019

7 June 2019 – Expansión

Following the stoppage during the final quarter of last year, which was attributed to political instability, the first few months of 2018 have reactivated the real estate sector and the footfall in the shopping centres of Barcelona; and one of the clearest examples of this change in trend is Torre Glòries, one of Merlin’s main assets in the Catalan capital. The firm’s CEO, Ismael Clemente, explained during an information session at the International Logistics Fair (‘Salón Internacional de la Logística’ or SIL) in Barcelona that the office complex will be fully occupied by 2019.

The first tenant is going to be the Austrian firm CCC, which will work for Facebook and which has leased eight floors, with the option of leasing five more. That firm will start to move into Torre Glòries on 1 July. “After finding out that the EMA would not move to Barcelona, we thought that it might be hard to fully let the building three years after the refurbishment work finished (in June), but now we see that in six months we are going to have 80% of the property occupied and that by 2019, it will be full”, said the Director. Merlin is negotiating with two other companies from the technology sector, which will allow the listed Socimi to hang up the “No vacancy” sign if the most optimistic forecasts are fulfilled.

Investment

At SIL, Merlin unveiled its plans to expand its logistics offering over the next two or three years (…).

Original story: Expansión (by A. Zanón)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Intu’s New Strategy in Spain: to Change the Names of its Shopping Centres

16 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Intu is betting on branding to raise the profile of its name in Spain. The company, which has a vast presence in the United Kingdom, where it owns almost twenty shopping centres, is going to replicate its British strategy in Spain, by adding the word Intu to the name of its retail complexes. This week, the company announced that its shopping centre in Zaragoza, which has been called Puerto Venecia to date, is now going to be named Intu Puerto Venecia.

It was in 2014 when Intu reached an agreement with the fund Orion European Real Estate to acquire the Puerto Venecia complex, the largest shopping centre in Spain, for €451 million. The complex contains a retail park spanning 82,600 m2, which was inaugurated in 2008 and a leisure and fashion area measuring 130,000 m2, which opened in October 2012 (…).

Since the purchase by Intu, the British group has carried out a series of changes to the appearance and management of the shopping centre. But it has not been until now that the group has decided to complete the process by adding the word Intu to the name of the complex, whereby following in the footsteps of Intu Asturias.

Now, the next step will be for Intu to apply the same strategy to the Xanadú shopping centre. The British group completed the purchase of that shopping centre, located in Arroyomolinos (Madrid), from Ivanhoé Cambridge for more than €520 million in March last year. That acquisition was the largest operation since Deutsche Bank paid €495 million for Diagonal Mar.

In May of the same year, Intu created a joint venture with TH Real Estate to share the ownership of the Madrilenian shopping centre, transferring 50% of the complex to TH Real Estate for €264.4 million, half of the amount that it had paid for Xanadú.

That shopping centre, constructed in 2003, has a total surface area of 153,695 m2 spread over two storeys and with a total of 220 stores, making it one of the largest retail complexes in Madrid. Its tenants include Inditex, El Corte Inglés, Hipercor, Bricor, Decathlon, Primark and Apple. Xanadú Madrid receives almost 13 million visitors per year and generates sales of around €230 million.

Shopping centres on the rise in Spain

Intu’s commitment to Spain comes at a good time for this retail format in the country. Sales registered at these complexes rose by 3.5% in 2017, to exceed €43.5 billion.

Specifically, revenues in the sector amounted to €43.59 billion in 2017. The market share of shopping centres and retail parks rose to reach 17.9%. Last year, around 1,900 million visits were registered at these complexes.

Meanwhile, investment in the sector soared by 35% in 2017, to €2.7 billion. During the course of last year, 29 transactions were closed involving 36 assets, according to data from the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres and Retail Parks (AECC).

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Klépierre to Invest €45M in Expansion of Maremagnum Shopping Centre in Barcelona

3 May 2018 – Eje Prime

The world’s shopping centre giants are very much focused on Spain. Whilst at the beginning of the year, Unibail-Rodamco announced that it was putting up for sale four non-strategic shopping centres in Spain, today, it is another French firm, Klépierre, who is picking up the gauntlet and redoubling its commitment to the country. The company is going to invest €45 million in the expansion of its Maremagnum shopping centre, located in Barcelona, according to sources at the company speaking to Eje Prime.

The group estimates that it will spend €45 million to increase the complex by 8,000 m2, space that will be added to the second floor and sides of the shopping centre. According to the company, the building work will begin in the coming months, although it is not expected to be completed until the second half of 2021. This is the only renovation or expansion project that Klépierre currently has planned in Spain for the next few years.

Maremagnum is one of the jewels in the crown of Klépierre. Located in one of the most touristic enclaves of Barcelona and where a large number of cruise ships disembark every day, the complex was launched in 1995 and was renovated in 2012.

Currently, Maremagnum has a total surface area of 22,542 m2, of which 18,800 m2 are dedicated to commercial activity. More than 154 brands operate in the shopping centre, including the Swedish giant H&M, the majority of the Inditex chains, the US firm Victoria’s Secret and restaurant operators such as McDonalds.

Maremagnum has formed part of Klépierre’s portfolio since 2015 when it completed the purchase of the Dutch company Corio for €7.2 billion. The French group completed the acquisition of Corio after launching a public exchange offer in October 2014 for 93.6% of the shares in circulation.

The objective of the French real estate company with that purchase was to expand its presence in countries such as France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, given that Corio owned complexes in seven counties and in urban centres such as Amsterdam and Istanbul, as well as in cities such as Madrid, Rome, Turin, Utrecht and Berlin.

Specifically, following that merger, Klépierre took ownership of an asset portfolio comprising 178 shopping centres spread over 16 European countries with a combined asset value of €21 billion. In this way, after the merger, Kléperre’s portfolio in Spain comprised around twenty shopping centres, worth more than €2.26 billion, and which generate a profit of €110 million for the group (…).

Good results for the sector in Spain 

In macroeconomic terms, shopping centres are performing well in Spain at the moment. Turnover for these types of assets rose by 1.5% last year with respect to the previous year, whilst visitor footfall grew by 1.1% YoY.

The sectors that performed the best last year with respect to 2016 in terms of sales were the home, leisure and restaurant sectors, with increases of 5%, 3.7% and 2.7%, respectively, according to a report from Cushman&Wakefield.

According to the real estate consultancy, new additions such as customer advisory services and sensory and emotional perception, which create new experiences for users, have helped this increase in shopping centre sales figures and visitor numbers. Nevertheless, consumer electronics stores saw their sales fall by 1.8% last year, with respect to 2016.

The occupancy rate of the assets analysed was 91% in 2017, three points above the level last year. The higher demand for retail space also led to increases in rents in shopping centres, which saw rental prices rise by 1.4% last year.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake