Portal del l’Ángel is Still Spain’s Most Expensive High Street: €280/m2/month

19 February 2018 – Eje Prime

The retail sector strengthened its market during 2017. During the second half of the year, it saw growth in the demand for rental properties of 14%, whilst the number of premises for sale rose by 9%. Of all of the high streets across the land, Portal de l’Ángel in Barcelona retained its position as the most expensive in Spain, with an average rent of €280/m2/month, ahead of the Madrilenian street Calle Preciados, where the average price of a retail premise stands at €270/m2/month.

Last year, €4 billion was invested in the Spanish retail sector, in contrast to the crisis that the same market is currently experiencing in the USA. The reasons for the growth in Spain include, amongst other aspects, the strong economic outlook, the boom in commercial tourism and the dynamism of retail trade, according to a report from the real estate consultancy firm Forcadell.

The upward trend, which has now seen two years of increases, is encouraging demand for retail assets. Nevertheless, in cities such as Barcelona, the supply of premises for rent remains at very low levels, above all on the first and second line, which has led to a reactivation of the third line, according to the report.

This lack of commercial space has resulted in a scarcity of prime assets in the Catalan capital. Some companies have already chosen to move to less central locations or to opt for other formats to invest in retail.

Between June and December, the restaurant sector was the segment that grew by the most in the commercial sector in Barcelona, followed by the fashion operator segment, which increased its commitment to flagship stores and showrooms, and the food retail market, which is immersed in a process of positioning itself close to its customers. The profile of investors in retail in the city are Socimis and foreign investment funds.

Investments in Barcelona  

One of the most noteworthy operations closed during the second half of 2017 in Barcelona saw the opening of Uniqlo’s flagship store on Passeig de Gràcia, the Japanese firm’s first store in Barcelona, which spans a surface area of 1,800 m2.

On the same street, Adolfo Domínguez is also going to open a mega-store measuring 682 m2, whilst nearby, on Rambla de Catalunya, the French lingerie brand Etam has inaugurated a store measuring 500 m2. Finally, Leroy Merlin is finalising the opening of an establishment measuring 2,450 m2 on Calle Fontanella, near Plaça de Catalunya, scheduled for before the spring.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bulevard Rosa Shopping Arcade To Be Converted Into Large Format Stores

20 October 2017 – Eje Prime

The historical Bulevard Rosa, managed by the Catalan Vives family, will close its doors during the first half of next year, according to explanations provided to Eje Prime by sources close to the process. The establishment, which will be converted into between large format stores for fashion retailers, is whereby following in the footsteps of the Madrilenian shopping arcade El Jardín de Serrano, which is also in the process of closing its doors for a refit to welcome Uniqlo’s first megastore in Madrid.

Bulevard Rosa opened its doors in December 1978, to become one of the most iconic shopping arcades in the centre of Barcelona. The complex, which occupies the ground floor of the office building located at number 55 Paseo de Gracia, currently comprises around 100 shops and has a gross leasable area of 5,200 m2.

According to sources at Bulevard Rosa, the managers of the shopping centre have already contacted the tenants to inform them that their rental contracts will not be renewed beyond June 2018. According to sources in the real estate business, the owners’ project involves transforming the arcade into between two and four megastores, depending on the needs of the operators that express interest in the location (…).

This decision comes ten years after the managers of Bulevard Rosa tried to revitalise the shopping centre by expanding it and introducing new operators. In 2008, the company converted its former movie theatres into a Nespresso megastore, whilst the Galician ladies’ fashion label Bimba y Lola also recently expanded its store in the complex.

With the disappearance of Bulevard Rosa, the owners of the complex may be able to generate a return on their commercial investment with the opening of new large format stores. Currently, the monthly rent for a store on Paseo de Gracia amounts to between €240/m2/month and €310/m2/month, with a return of 3.8%.

Moreover, fortune is playing into the hands of the owners of the shopping arcade, given that the availability of stores along this stretch of Paseo de Gracia is almost nil (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Uniqlo Signs Lease To Open Mega-Store In El Jardín de Serrano (Madrid)

22 September 2017 – Eje Prime

The Revilla brothers are making their investments profitable. The company Hermanos Revilla, which specialises in the acquisition of real estate assets in Madrid, has signed a pre-lease contract with the Japanese fashion chain Uniqlo to open a mega-store in El Jardín de Serrano, a shopping arcade in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood. According to sources close to the operation, the store will be opened by 2020 and will see the conversion of the arcade into a single store.

El Jardín de Serrano is located at number 6 on Calle Goya, in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood of Madrid. Uniqlo will occupy two floors of the property, specifically the first and basement floors, which together span approximately 1,300 m2. The property, which will be subject to a comprehensive renovation, has been on the market for a long time and had also received interest from groups such as Primark and H&M.

According to the same sources, the rental contracts of all the retail establishments that currently occupy the arcade expire in 2019. In this way, Uniqlo and Hermanos Revilla will have a period of one year to carry out the necessary construction work to transform the property into a large format store. Professionals in the sector consulted by Eje Prime say that Uniqlo will pay rent of approximately €2.5 million per year.

El Jardín de Serrano underwent a remodelling project in 2011. It has a total surface area of 3,700 m2, spread over four floors. If Uniqlo does end up moving into the property (it has included a cancellation clause in the pre-lease contract, to be invoked in the event that “a better opportunity arises”), then the two upper floors will continue to be used as offices. This will represent the fashion chain’s first store in Madrid.

Sources at Hermanos Revilla declined to comment about the deal, whilst some of the establishments that currently operate in the shopping arcade confirmed that they are aware that negotiations are underway for a fashion brand to open a large store in the building.

Hermanos Revilla is one of the main investment families in the real estate sector in Madrid. The company owns a portfolio of properties comprising office buildings and shopping centres, such as the case of El Jardín de Serrano.

Currently, Hermanos Revilla own a dozen office buildings located in the financial district of Madrid, including iconic assets on Paseo de la Castellana, where it owns number 41, the buildings at numbers 29 and 8 on Calle Goya (which together span a surface area of more than 10,000 m2 for offices and retail use) and number 35 on Calle Jorge Juan.

Hermanos Revilla also owns other properties in the Chamberí area, with a building at number 2 on c/José Abascal; in Chamartín, with an asset at number 132 on Principe de Vergara; the Musgo 1 and Musgo 3 buildings in the Moncloa area and four buildings on the outskirts of Madrid, in the M-30 and A-2 districts.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Pontegadea’s Profits Rose By 8% In 2015 To €795M

19 July 2016 – Expansión

Pontegadea Inversiones, the company through which Amancio Ortega (pictured above) controls 50% of Inditex (he owns an additional 9.28% stake through Partler) generated revenues of €810 million in 2015, up by 5.46% compared with the year before. This amount came entirely from the distribution of dividends by Inditex. The net result for the year was €795 million, up by 8.16% compared with €735 million in 2014.

Pontegadea Inversiones’ own funds amounted to €10,037 million at the end of 2015, well above their level at the end of 2014 (€7,861 million). In addition to the organic growth of the company, whose only business involves receiving dividends from Inditex, this significant increase was due to the absorption of the company Gartler, which was completed in October last year.

The directors of the company are Amancio Ortega; his wife and the Vice-President, Flora Pérez; and his two right hand men: José Arnau, as the second Vice-President of Pontegadea, and Roberto Cibeira, the CEO of Pontegadea Inmobiliaria.

Pontegadea Inversiones’ liabilities amounted to €226 million at the end of 2015.

Ortega decided to inject €717.6 million of Pontegadea Inversiones’ revenues (€810 million) into Pontegadea Inmobiliaria, the subsidiary that groups together the Inditex founder’s investments in the real estate sector. That figure was 12.4% lower than the amount invested in 2014 (€820 million).

Pontegadea Inmobiliaria’s individual results in 2015 reported revenues of €103 million, compared with €182 million in 2014. These figures reflect the impact of the absorption of Gartler by Pontegadea Inversiones, given that, prior to that operation, Pontegadea Inmobiliaria owned a stake in Gartler, which was transferred to its parent company in October last year.

Pontegadea Inmobiliaria’s net result in 2015 amounted to €106 million, compared with €184 million in 2014, a result that also reflected the transfer of Gartler to Pontegadea Inversiones.

In 2014, Gartler had injected dividends amounting to €75 million from Inditex into Pontegadea Inmobiliaria. Ortega’s real estate arm closed 2015 with a total assets of €6,058 million and net equity of €5,460 million.

Zara

Inditex has confirmed that it will open a Zara mega store in Nuevos Ministerios, on Paseo de la Castellana, 79, just a stone’s throw from El Corte Inglés. It will likely become the brand’s largest store and Zara will probably close its existing store on Calle Orense as a result.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Massimo Dutti, H&M & Uniqlo Seek Premises On Passeig De Gracia

22 June 2015 – Expansión

Rental prices are soaring on Barcelona’s Golden Mile / The three fashion chains have been negotiating with the owners of premises on the street for months to open mega-stores.

Barcelona’s Passeig de Gracia is one Spain’s most important retail streets, and store rental prices there have increased significantly in recent years. The luxury boulevard of the Catalan capital was the Spanish street where prices rose the most in 2014 (by 6.4%) to €215/m2/month, according to data from the retail-specialist consulting firm Ascana.

The tourism boom in Barcelona is continuing to drive demand in this street, and it is still one of the areas where international brands “must” have a presence. And the shortage of available stores means that prices are continuing to rise. All of this, despite the fact that the retail surface area on Passeig de Gracia has increased in recent years, since the first floors of many buildings have been incorporated into the stores. “And despite the fact that large premises mean lower average rental prices”, explains Eduardo Rivero, Managing Partner at Ascana.

Negotiations

As a result, rental agreements are taking longer to finalise. That is the case of the three mega-deals that have been under negotiation for months and which have not yet been agreed. The Japanese firm Uniqlo has been trying to lease premises on Passeig de Gracia for several years and has been negotiating with the owners of number 18 for months.

Massimo Dutti’s negotiations to lease the store that Vinçon will vacate, at number 96, have also been going on for months. And the other mega-store, created by sacrificing office space at number 11, is where H&M has been trying to open its flagship store since last year.

The volume of transactions on Passeig de Gracia, both in terms of investment and rental, has slowed down in recent months. According to Rivero, the number of retail property purchases has decreased for two reasons: the fall in profitability for the purchaser and, above all, the shortage of assets for sale. (…). The same is happening in the rental market. (…).

New brands are still arriving on the street, although to a lesser extent than a few years ago. In 2014, a total of 23 transactions were signed and 15 new brands arrived, most of them fashion industry names.

New stores

The upper end of the Paseo de Gracia is the real golden mile of the city. There, twelve deals were closed last year, all of them involving luxury brands such as Dior, Versace, Rabat, Frey Wille, Carmina Shoemaker and Wolford.

The extension of the time to close operations has driven the proliferation of temporary shops, known as pop-up stores, such as those run by Brandy Melville, Levi’s and Twin-Set. According to Ascana, these temporary incursions allow companies to verify the degree of consumer interest in a brand and evaluate the success of any possible permanent facilities. And whilst they all continue to look for space, rental prices continue to rise.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake