Global Brands Colonise The Centre Of Barcelona

13 September 2017 – El País

(…). Demand from major operators, such as Zara, Uniqlo, H&M and even Seat, for flagship stores in city centres is boosting investment in these types of high-street establishments. According to a study by the real estate consultancy JLL, such investment amounted to €402 million across Spain during the first quarter of 2017

Examples of flagship stores (…) are found in the centre of Spain’s major cities. One of the most paradigmatic is Primark’s store, which occupies more than 7,000 m2 on La Gran Vía in Madrid (..). Flagship stores are essentially an image, a tourist attraction, where the entire collection of a company is presented and where consumers can also do online shopping and collect orders. It is also very typical for brands to make presentations and hold events at their stores.

In Barcelona, the H&M, Zara and Massimo Dutti stores on Paseo de Gracia, and the large store in the Born neighbourhood where the sunglasses brand Etnia took up residence this year, are examples of the presence of flagship stores in the Catalan capital. On 20 September, Uniqlo, the Japanese competitor of Inditex, will open a large store, also on Paseo de Gracia. But the interest in these types of establishments is not limited to the world of fashion. Companies such as Seat, Ikea and Leroy Merlin, and even large banking institutions, have all expressed their interest in raising their profiles on the main commercial thoroughfares.

“It is the way the brands have of positioning themselves in the market”, explains Daniel Jiménez, Director of Retail at the real estate consultancy Aguirre Newman. Jiménez says that there is a great deal of demand for these types of premises, and that the brands do not settle for any old shop: they want open-plan spaces, in good locations with attractive architectural features.

The effect on local trade

The main streets where the demand is being concentrated in Barcelona are Paseo de Gracia and Portal del Ángel, the most expensive high street in Spain, where prices amount to €3,360/m2, according to a report from Acotex. “The brands fight for premises, whilst the buyers, normally international investment funds, obtain a return of between 3.5% and 3.75% in Barcelona”, says Jiménez.

The emergence of large stores, through which the major international brands demonstrate their power, certainly has an effect on local businesses. The first and most obvious impact is the rise in rental prices. Joan Carles Calbet, President of Comertia and RetailCat, the new association of Catalan traders, celebrates the fact that increasingly more people want to invest in Barcelona. “But these types of stores distort the equilibrium of the city, because they (the large players) can afford to pay a lot more than local businesses, which leads to very high inflation”, says Calbet.

“We risk losing local businesses, which define the character of the city”, adds the President of RetailCat, an association that represents almost 30,000 local businesses (…).

Original story: El País (by Josep Catà)

Translation: Carmel Drake

JLL: Inv’t In Retail Sector Falls By 27% In H1 To €1,278M

20 September 2016 – La Vanguardia

Real estate investment in the retail sector – which includes shopping centres, retail parks and other premises – decreased by 27% during the first half of the year to €1,279 million, as a result of the shortage of products in the market, according to data published yesterday by the real estate consultancy JLL.

Despite the decrease in investment during the first half of the year, the firm expects the full year to close roughly in line with 2015, when investment exceeded €3,000 million. Moreover, it does not detect any negative impact as a result of the political instability in Spain at the moment.

Spain accounted for 7% of all retail investment in Europe during the first half of 2016, to stand in fourth place in the overall ranking.

High street stores and shopping centres accounted for 25% and 23% of total investment in H1 2016, respectively, well below the 48% that each one of those segments represented a year ago.

Despite the decrease in investment, JLL is convinced that the fall is not indicative of a deceleration in the market. The number of operations completed during the first half of the year amounted to 38, exceeding the 23 signed a year earlier.

Nevertheless, the average size of those transactions decreased by half to €40 million. Most, 18, corresponded to high street stores, amounting to €310 million in total, compared with 14 operations amounting to €860 million in 2015.

Socimis accounted for 16% of the total investment with €106 million.

In terms of rents, Paseo de Gracia recorded an increase of 11.6% to €240/sqm/month, although Portal del Ángel in Barcelona was crowned the most expensive street in Spain after rents there increased by 8.3% to €260/sqm/month.

In Madrid, Preciados is the most expensive street, with rents of €255/sqm/month, following an increase of 6.25%. It is followed by Serrano (€240/sqm/month and an increase of 6.7%) and Gran Vía (€230/sqm/month, up by 4.5%).

The forecasts indicate that rents in Madrid will increase by 2.4% p.a. during the period 2016-2018 and by 1.7% p.a. in Barcelona.

In the case of shopping centres, rental prices reached €88/sqm/month and forecasts show that they will increase at an average annual rate of 2.2% between 2016 and 2018.

During this period, new shopping centre openings are expected to double after hitting a minimum of 343,000 sqm between 2013 and 2015.

Project highlights this year include: Parque Nevada (Granada), Sambil Outlet Madrid and Fan Mallorca Shopping. Between now and 2018, the following centres are also expected to open: Plaza Río; Open Sky Center; Viladecans The Style Outlets; Torre Village; Palmas Altas and Torrecárdenas.

According to the Director of the Retail Department at JLL, Sergio Fernandes, there are increasingly more players interested in developing new centres from scratch, as well as significant interest in both the sale and purchase of new centres.

JLL also highlighted the growing trend in terms of the opening of flagship stores, as well as the shortage of quality space, which is forcing retailers to convert other spaces from residential, office and leisure use into commercial properties.

One of the most noteworthy operations of this kind is the opening of a 5,000 sqm Zara store on Castellana 79 (in the building that previously housed Fnac), which is due to open at the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.

JLL expects returns to continue to be compressed over the next few months and that the average value of the shopping centre market will grow by 5.6% p.a.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Foot Locker To Open A Megastore On c/Preciados

16 April 2015 – Expansión

The sports equipment company is going to lease the building located at number 6 on the Madrid street, which has a surface area of 2,000 square metres.

Changes are afoot on Spain’s most sought after shopping street. In a few weeks time, the building located at number six Calle Preciados in Madrid will house a new tenant: the American company Foot Locker. The firm, which specialises in sports equipment will replace H&M, which vacated the property at the end of March to open its flagship store in Spain.

Foot Locker – which until now leased a smaller property at number 17 (on the same street) – will incorporate its signature brand the “House of Hoops” into its new premises in Preciados; the brand was created by the American company in conjunction with the sports brand Nike. The decision to open a flagship store, which will include this new concept, comes after Foot Locker has been testing its new brand, which specialises in basketball-related products, in a pop-up store in other premises on Gran Vía, 36, just a stone’s throw from Preciados.

The building, which is owned by a Spanish family office, has a surface area of 1,960 square metres, distributed over six floors. CBRE advised on the transaction.

The move represents the largest rental transaction involving retail premises on the Spanish high street in 2015. There have not been any major changes of tenants on Preciados for almost two years; the Madrid street competes with Portal del Ángel in Barcelona as the most expensive shopping street in Spain.

“It is a highly sought-after retail area that is very popular with large brands, and so it is rare for property to become available”, says the consultancy firm Ascana.

Last year, only four stores had a change of tenants and only one of those affected premises larger than 100 square metres. Specifically, a store measuring 110 square metres, which is now leased by the make-up firm Mac, after Bijou Brigitte vacated the property. Numerous offers are now expected for the premises at number 17, which Foot Locker has left empty.

Rental prices

This scarce supply has meant that rental prices on Preciados have not been hit by the decreases experienced on properties in the rest of the Spanish market. There, rental prices reach €248/month per square metre for the smallest premises (those measuring between 100m2 and 200m2), according to real estate sources.

Rental prices in the larger stores, such as the one leased by Foot Locker, are lower, amounting to around €100 per square metre per month.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake