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.
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.
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