Merlin To Invest €15.2M Renovating Valencia’s El Saler Shopping Centre

24 October 2017 – Expansión

Merlin is going to undertake improvements at its shopping centres on the basis that it considers that e-commerce “is not going to kill the physical shopping experience, but rather transform the way it is done”.

In this way, the Socimi is committed to improving its shopping centres to bring them into line with visitors’ current tastes. In its opinion, the “new era” of shopping centres will attract visitors on the basis of convenience and experience.

To this end, it is committed to expanding its centres’ areas of activity beyond just shopping, to include experiences. In line with this strategy, one of its major investments currently underway involves the shopping centre it has acquired in Alcorcón (Madrid), known as ‘X-Madrid‘.  There it will invest €31.8 million to convert the retail space into a leisure centre for experiences, where visitors will be able to go diving, surfing and climbing.

Moreover, the Socimi advocates the integration of shopping centres with e-commerce, including the constitution of marketplaces, housing collection points for online purchases from Amazon and Correos, as well as pop-up stores and temporary shops.

Merlin’s other notable investments in this segment include the €21 million it is spending on the complete renovation of the Larios Centre in Málag; the €3.8 million it will use to improve the façade and common areas of the Arturo Soria shopping centre in Madrid; the €15.2 million that will be used to renovate El Saler in Valencia; and the €16 million it will invest in the Porto Pi shopping centre in Palma.

Original story: Expansión 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Carmila Signed 437 Lease Operations In 2016

26 January 2017 – Cuatro

Carmila, the real estate subsidiary owned by Carrefour, has completed its third year of activity in Spain, during which time it has signed 437 commercial lease operations, according to a statement made by the company.

Specifically, the company led by Sebastián Palaciones signed 206 new operations corresponding to a gross leasable area (GLA) of 20,662 m2, and also secured the continuation of 231 strategic clients with contract renovations covering a total surface area of 22,655 m2.

Similarly, the firm, which has more than 1,100 specialty leasing contracts in its portfolio, confirmed the company’s commitment to this retail format, which includes the opening of stands, promotional events for leading brands and the innovative concept of pop-up stores, amongst other activities.

The most active regions in terms of rental space leased in 2016 were Andalucía, accounting for 27% of the operations signed, followed by the Community of Valencia (17%), Madrid (14%), Galicia (7%) and Castilla La Mancha (6%).

By retail sector, the largest share of surface area was leased to restaurants, with 45 new contracts, followed by fashion stores, with 25 contracts, whilst telephone companies were ranked in third place, with 20 contracts.

Carmila was constituted in April 2014 by Carrefour, which controls 42% of its capital, with the aim of generating value from the shopping centres located next to its hypermarkets. The other shares in the firm are owned by major institutional investors.

In Spain, the company owns 70 shopping centres, spread across 32 provinces in high-end strategic locations. Its assets are worth more than €1,000 million and the company also manages almost 2,500 stores and medium-sized outlets.

Original story: Cuatro

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.


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