Caprabo Sells a Batch of Six Stores in Cataluña to Lidl

5 February 2019 – Expansión

Lidl is giving a new boost to its ambitious growth strategy in Cataluña. To strengthen its position in certain locations, the German distribution chain has acquired a batch of six supermarkets from Caprabo, which together span a combined commercial surface area of 9,000 m2.

The operation involves establishments measuring more than 1,000 m2, which Caprabo inaugurated between 1997 and 2009 in the municipalities of Castelldefels, Roses, la Bisbal d’Empordà, El Vendrell, Sant Celoni and Terrassa (…).

Lidl already owns around one hundred points of sale in Cataluña, equivalent to 18% of its commercial network in Spain, which comprises more than 550 stores in total. The autonomous region is a strategic area for the multinational’s growth plan. According to Retail Data, in 2018 alone, Lidl increased its sales space in the Catalan market by 11.2%, where it now accounts for 4.6% of the market. Cataluña is Lidl’s second largest autonomous region in terms of number of supermarkets, behind Andalucía.

Meanwhile, Caprabo, owned by the Eroski group, has a network of 324 points of sale in Cataluña, Navarro and Andorra (…).

Original story: Expansión (by S. Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Zurich Buys an Office Building in Plaza Cataluña from Sum Capital Spain

25 October 2018 – Eje Prime

The Zurich Group has assured itself of a space in the heart of Barcelona. The Swiss group has purchased an office building in Plaza Cataluña from Sum Capital Spain, the property developer behind OneCowork, a chain of co-working offices that will remain as the tenant of the property, according to explanations provided to Eje Prime by sources close to the operation, whose consideration has not been revealed.

The asset, located at number 9 Calle Estruc, between Plaza Cataluña and Portal de l’Àngel, has a surface area of 1,648 m2. The property is distributed over five storeys with a terrace (and an average surface area of 250 m2 per floor). It will be completely occupied by the coworking chain created by Uri Nachoom, the sole administrator of Sum Capital Spain.

Nachoom is a familiar face in the Catalan capital’s real estate sector as the former co-owner of the Salamanca Group holding company, the firm that relaunched the Marina Port Vell marina and which guided the growth of OneCowork, a company that is going to invest €150 million in the opening of forty centres all over Europe by 2023.

Now, the Israeli businessman has decided to sell this property under the sale&leaseback method, taking advantage of the interest in the Spanish office market from large funds and insurance firms. The operation has been signed through REX Spain, one of the Zurich Group’s subsidiary companies, and has been advised by the real estate consultancy JLL (…).

It’s not all about the 22@ district in Barcelona 

The office market in Barcelona is not all about the 22@ district. Although the city’s technological hub accounts for most of the current investments, Zurich’s purchase of the OneCowork building highlights the interest that the city centre is continuing to generate. Other large players such as Hines, Emesa and Pontegadea have benefitted in recent months from the interest of some companies and startups to work in the heart of Barcelona.

At the beginning of October, WeWork leased two spaces in the centre of the Catalan capital (…).

Also, since May, the real estate company owned by Amancio Ortega, Pontegadea, has been the landlord of Lidl in its building in Plaza Cataluña, where the Zara flagship store is also located. In total, the German supermarket chain leases 3,155 m2, distributed over four storeys.

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo & B. Seijo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aldi to Invest €97M in 32 New Store Openings Across Spain in 2018

1 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Following in the footsteps of one of its main competitors, Aldi is looking for new plots of land and commercial establishments across Spain. Whilst last November, it was Lidl that was explaining that it has already invested more than €2.6 billion in the Spanish real estate sector, now it is Aldi that wants to follow in that firm’s footsteps, with the activation of the search for plots of land measuring up to 8,000 m2 and new commercial premises in which to open supermarkets under its brand.

“We want to continue growing so that increasingly more people will be able to try our products”, explained the group in an interview with El Español. For this reason, it is looking for plots and commercial premises in different places across Spain.

Specifically, plots measuring between 4,000 m2 and 8,000 m2 or even larger sites in the main towns of the country as well as commercial premises in the large cities with a minimum useful surface area of 1,600 m2.

Moreover, on Aldi’s wish list is the fact that the stores should preferably be distributed over one floor and have around eighty parking spaces, as well as have the infrastructure necessary for unloading lorries.

Aldi is going to invest more than €97 million in 32 new openings in Spain in 2018, of which seven will be located in the Community of Madrid. For the time being, Aldi has around 270 stores in Spain, less than half as many as the other German firm Lidl, which has almost 550 establishments.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Pontegadea Lets 3,000 m2 of Office Space in Barcelona to Lidl

2 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Pontegadea, the real estate company owned by Amancio Ortega, is continuing to make its investments in Barcelona profitable. The group has just closed the rental of some of its office space, spanning more than 3,000 m2, to the German supermarket giant Lidl, according to market sources speaking to Eje Prime. Pontegadea has rented part of a building that it owns in Plaza Catalunya, in the centre of Barcelona, which it purchased from BBVA in 2013 for more than €100 million.

Lidl is going to occupy four floors in the building, which together span a total surface area of 3,155 m2. Currently, the building, which was originally intended to house the corporate headquarters of a large group, is being marketed on a floor by floor basis. On the lower storeys, the property is home to one of the flagship stores that Zara has in the centre of the Catalan capital.

Following this rental operation, which has been brokered by the real estate consultancy firms JLL and Forcadell, Lidl is going to sublet the space from BBVA (given that, for the time being, the rental contract is in the name of the banking entity) in order to locate its offices in the centre of the city. The property is going to house the e-commerce and CRM teams, which will serve the group’s business throughout Europe. Although the most iconic part of the building is located in Plaza Catalunya, the building’s entrance is located at number 13 Calle Bergara.

In this way, Lidl is continuing to generate work for the real estate sector in Spain. As Eje Prime revealed, the German supermarket chain has recently put up for sale its portfolio of real estate assets in the country. More than 109,000 m2 of retail space, industrial assets and land, which the German giant has acquired since it first arrived in Spain in 1994 form part of the package put up for sale by the company.

To carry out this operation in Spain, where the company is also purchasing new land, Lidl attended the Barcelona Meeting Point real estate fair in October, where it had one of the largest stands in the room, which it used to explore real estate agreements, including the sale of part of its property portfolio (…).

Lidl has been operating in Spain for more than 22 years, during which time it has invested almost €2.6 billion in the purchase of land, retail premises and store openings. Now, the company has initiated a new phase of expansion and so it is looking for properties, including both industrial and commercial land (…).

The office business is growing in Barcelona 

Leasing of office space grew by 20% in Barcelona during the first quarter of 2018 with respect to the same period in 2017, and forecasts indicate that this business is going to continue to grow over the coming months. The city recorded a leasing volume that was 17% higher than the quarterly average for the last five years, whereby confirming the strong demand.

Of the 125 operations signed during the first few months of the year, 7% corresponded to contracts for spaces spanning more than 2,000 m2. Most of the space leased (47%) was signed in New Business Areas, with the leasing of new space by companies such as PepsiCo and Securitas, which moved into a stock that today has an occupancy rate of 93%, as revealed by Eje Prime.

Meanwhile, the Paseo de Gracia-Diagonal area and city centre closed the quarter with a joint market share of 37% of the total space leased. The remaining 16% opted for projects located on the outskirts of the city (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lidl Invested €110M Opening 29 Stores in Spain in 2017

11 January 2018 – Expansión

Lidl opened 29 new supermarkets in Spain in 2017, an expansion of the commercial network that involved investment of €110 million for the construction and fitting out of its new stores. Note, that figure excludes the disbursements made to lease or buy the land on which the premises were built.

The store openings were primarily carried out in areas where the German chain did not yet have a presence, although “some establishments were opened to replace others that already existed and that were either too small or that had been replaced by another store in a better location”. The new Lidl stores are the largest that the company has ever opened; they have an average retail space of around 1,400 m2.

The company has placed its focus on this expansion plan to enhance the space it dedicates to fresh produce, which now accounts for a third of its offer and which has become the main tool that the traditional distribution groups are using to deal with the threat from the purely online distribution groups.

Andalucía leads the ranking

By geographical region, the 29 inaugurations that Lidl undertook in 2017 were concentrated in Andalucía (6), the Community of Valencia and Cataluña (5 in both) and the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and Madrid (3 in each). Above all, the chain bet on growing in coastal towns with significant tourist traffic. Nevertheless, Lidl also explored new locations, opening its first store in a shopping centre (in Islazul, Madrid).

The German firm has 540 stores and ten logistics platforms in Spain. Lidl closed its 2017 tax year in February. In 2016, it recorded turnover of €3.335 billion in the national market, up by 9.4%.

Original story: Expansión (by Victor M. Osorio)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lidl Boosts its Real Estate Business with €300M Investment

27 December 2017 – El Economista

Lidl is strengthening its commitment to the real estate sector. The German supermarket chain is planning to invest around €300 million next year (2018) buying up land and stores on/in which to open new supermarkets. Contrary to what most of the distribution sector is doing (the majority of retailers are selling their properties and leasing stores instead so as to focus on their core retail businesses), the German giant is standing firm in its commitment to the real estate recovery in Spain and so will continue investing.

With a current network of 540 stores, the idea is to own the largest possible number of stores. The average sales area amounts to around 1,500 m2, and so Lidl is looking for spaces measuring between 4,000 m2 and 9,000 m2, to allow space for warehouses and parking.

“Although we haven’t set an exact figure yet, the idea is to maintain the same rate of store openings as this year (2017), which means that we would open between 30 and 40 establishments in 2018”, explain sources at the company. Lidl arrived in Spain in 1994 and closed 2016 with a turnover of more than €3.335 billion, which represented an increase of 9.5% compared to the previous year. The company has also consolidated its position as the fifth largest operator in the sector with a market share of 4.3%, behind only Mercadona, Dia, Carrefour and Eroski, according to the latest market research published by the consultancy firm Kantar Worldpanel.

Presence at real estate fairs

Loyal to its real estate strategy, Lidl has already attended the recent exhibitions of the Barcelona Meeting Point fair to search for business opportunities. Moreover, it has decided to diversify its store opening strategy and enter, for example, traditional food markets (‘mercados de abastos’) and shopping centres.

In the case of the first, the German company has committed to opening stores in Barcelona, in the Sant Antoni and Vall d’Hebrón markets, and in Madrid, in the Tetuán market, in a strategy similar to the one being carried out by Mercadona. In the case of shopping centres, it has already opened its first store in this type of space in Islazul, in Madrid. Moreover, as well as new stores, Lidl is also making very significant investments in improving and modernising its existing stores.

Original story: El Economista (by Javier Romera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar Buys 200,000 m2 Plot In Cheste To Build Logistics Park

13 February 2017 – El Mundo

It has not even been built yet, but the Ciudad Circuito de Cheste industrial estate is already making its name as an important logistics hub in Valencia. Lidl, which has already announced that it is going to build a new logistics platform here, is now going to be joined by Lar España. The Socimi has acquired around 200,000 m2 of land in the municipality of Cheste, next to the A-3 motorway and just 5km from the intersection with the Mediterranean Highway, on which it plans to build a new logistics park, .

The land acquired by Lar España is located just a few metres from the Circuito Ricardo Tormo, a strategic point in the region of Valencia, given that it is the junction where the roads to the centre and south of the Peninsula meet. In addition, it is just 17 km from Manises Airport and around 30 km from the Port of Valencia, which has become the main entry and exit port for goods.

The operation by Lar España is independent of the one already announced by the German retailer although both were signed on Wednesday 25 January 2017, according to confirmations yesterday from a municipal source. Lidl’s logistics platform is going to occupy a surface area covering 120,000 m2 and with Lar’s purchase, one third of the industrial estate, whose total surface area will amount to 900,000 m2, has already been occupied, before the development of the site has even begun. (…).

Original story: El Mundo (by Francisco Álvarez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lidl Seeks RE Partners To Drive Growth

20 October 2016 – Expansión

Lidl is changing its expansion policy. Until now, the German chain has focused on opening supermarkets on the outskirts of urban centres. However, its new strategy will focus on identifying real estate partners to construct complexes that combine commercial and residential areas.

“We are looking for partners with whom, for example, we can open a shopping centre on the ground floor and construct apartments on the floors above”, explained David Carim, Director of Expansion at Lidl. The supermarket chain has a stand at the Barcelona Meeting Point real estate fair, which is being held from 19-23 October in the Catalan capital, to promote its strategy and look for new partners.

In this sense, the company is also offering itself as a partner to companies and funds that have unused plots of land, to develop projects together. It has not completed any of these initiatives in the Spanish market yet, but the strategy has already been applied in four shopping centres that the company manages in London. The formula will allow it to unify costs with the partners and access areas right in the heart of city centres.

Above all, Lidl is interested in plots of land measuring between 4,000 m2 and 9,000 m2, on which to build centres with a minimum surface area of 1,100 m2. The company is also looking for ground floor premises in towns with at least 16,000 inhabitants.

In addition, it is expected that this new expansion strategy will be applied to the construction of logistics centres, on plots of land measuring between 120,000 m2 and 140,000 m2.

Six hundred stores

Using this formula, the company plans to have 600 stores in less than five yers. The German chain already manages 535 supermarkets. In 2016 so far, Lidl has spent €350 million opening several new centres in Cornellà, Ripollet, Blanes, Sant Feliu and Roses (Cataluña), amongst others. The company plans to open another two new supermarkets in Badalona and Sant Boi, also in Cataluña, before February.

Lidl is not planning to create a real estate subsidiary even though it is looking to divest several of the premises and plots of land that it owns. Its owned assets include a plot of land measuring 65,815 m2 in Sant Fruitòs de Bages (Cataluña) and a 3,011 m2 farmhouse in the Catalan town of Arenys de Mar.

Lidl, which has invested €1,000 million in Spain over the last six years, is also focusing on redesigning its shopping centres. The paradigm of this new space is its centre in Ripollete, very close to the company’s central headquarters in Montcada i Reixach. The new supermarkets are characterised by their large windows, the installation of photovoltaic panels, which generate 30% of the stores’ energy, and the installation of bakeries in every supermarket.

Original story: Expansión (by Eric Galián)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lidl Opens Its Largest European Logistics Centre In Madrid

26 September 2016 – Expansión

In Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) on Thursday, the German supermarket chain Lidl opened the first phase of what will be the group’s largest and most technologically advanced logistics platform in Europe. The project will be completed in 2018, when the centre will become fully operational.

With this infrastructure, the company is making a strong commitment to the Spanish market, where it has been operating since 1994. The firm’s total investment will exceed €70 million. Thus, the result will be a site with 61,000 sqm of storage space (45,000 sqm being opened now, plus 16,000 sqm to be added in the second phase), with an automated silo measuring more than 40m tall. This centre will be able to store 71,000 pallets. (…).

With the launch of this first phase of the logistics centre, Lidl has created 100 new jobs. That figure will increase to 275 by the time the platform becomes fully operational in 2018.

Fourth generation

Lidl also unveiled its new eco-sustainable store model in Coslada (Madrid) yesterday. It is the most sustainable supermarket in Spain. (…)

Original story: Expansión (by María Sánchez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Savills: RE Inv’t In Retail Parks Reaches Historical Peak

3 May 2016 – Mis Locales

Retail parks are sparking interest in the real estate investment market in Spain. In 2015, investment in this type of asset amounted to €500 million, i.e. seven times more than in 2014. In the context of total retail investment, that figure represented 21% of total volumes in 2015 and accounted for 20% of the total amount invested in this segment since 2000, according to a specialist report about the market, which the international consultancy firm Savills publishes each year.

So far this year, investment in retail parks already amounts to €122 million, i.e. 18% of the total amount invested in the retail sector. Although the majority of that figure relates to the sale of six retail parks by Bogaris to the JV created by Redevco and Ares for €95 million, Luis Espadas, Capital Markets Director for Savills Spain, says that “this operation is evidence of the interest being generated by these types of assets, which are attracting both new profiles of investors and new property developers. The investment figures registered so far this year exceed those recorded during the same period in 2015.”

From the point of view of real estate investors, this sector, which generates returns of 6% for prime products and which is prone to decrease due to the imbalance between supply and demand, is very interesting in the context of the recovery in consumption, given that it requires only moderate investment volume and generates higher levels of profitability than for other retail products. Moreover, it is “safe”, due to the quality of its tenants and the fact that it barely requires any management following the purchase.

Retail space in retail parks, just over 1.85 million sqm, now accounts for 12.5% of the retail real estate market and construction activity is continuing to grow, boosted above all by traditional domestic players in this segment in the retail sector, although other investor profiles, such as the Socimis, have also started to develop retail parks, such as the complex that Grupo Lar has announced that it will construct in Sagunto. In addition, international property developers are expected to enter the market, especially from France, to actively seek out land.

According to the consultancy firm, all of this will boost investment forecasts, on the one hand, along with the arrival of new operators to the format in the retail sector, on the other hand.

For the time being, the expansion plans of operators familiar with this format, such as Leroy Merlin, which expects to open 25 new stores between now and 2020; Ikea, with new formats such as the new delivery point in Navarra; Media Markt, Sprinter and supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi, as well as the entry into retail parks of less typical brands, such as H&M, C&A and Mustang, are proof of the consolidation of the retail park segment. (…).

The report also identifies which provinces have the greatest potential for the construction of retail parks, based on retail density and the spending capacity of each population. País Vasco, Cataluña, the Balearic Islands and Castilla León are the regions with the most suitable provinces for this business niche.

Original story: Mis Locales

Translation: Carmel Drake