Portal de L’Àngel Ratifies is Position as Spain’s Most Expensive Street

14 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Portal de l’Àngel has reaffirmed its position as Spain’s most expensive street in Spain for opening a commercial premise. The busy Barcelona thoroughfare charges an average rent of €3,360/m2 per year, according to the report Main streets across the world 2018, compiled by Cushman&Wakefield. The amount this year has not varied with respect to the previous year.

Meanwhile, Madrid’s Calle Preciados continues in second place in the ranking, with an average rent of €3,240/m2 per year, which represents a 2% increase with respect to prices last year.

Across Europe as a whole, Portal de l’Àngel occupies the 18th position in the ranking of prime high streets in the region, whilst Calle Preciados is positioned at number twenty. In terms of the main commercial thoroughfares around the world, Barcelona’s prime street is placed at number 67 and Madrid’s at number 71.

In the global ranking for 2018, Causeway Bay, in Hong Kong knocked off Fifth Avenue in New York from the top of the podium, with a rental price of €24,606/m2 per year. Retail rents on the New York prime street amount to €20,733/m2 per year. In third place is New Bond Street in London with an average price of €16,071/m2 per year.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

ECI Sells 2 Assets in Madrid & Bilbao to Corpfin for €100M

3 August 2018 – Eje Prime

El Corte Inglés is continuing to divest property. The department store group, the largest in its sector in Europe, has closed the sale of two more properties, on prime streets in Madrid and Bilbao, to Corpfin Capital. The sale & leaseback operation has been closed with a gain of 40% with respect to the market value of the properties, at around €100 million.

Specifically, the group has divested its property at number 41 Calle Princesa in Madrid, which spans 11,400 m2 and whose market value is estimated to be around €18 million.

The company has also sold the building located at number 20 Gran Vía in Bilbao to the Spanish fund. That store has a surface area of 5,500 m2 and a market value of around €38 million.

Both properties have been on the market for two years, although the operation was closed off market. El Corte Inglés has signed a long-term lease contract with the new owner that, according to sources familiar with the operation, will charge rents that are 20% higher than the market average on both streets.

The Madrid-based group, chaired since June by Jesús Nuño de la Rosa, has framed this operation within its asset divestment plan to reduce the debt that has been weighing it down for several years. The company owns 92 centres in Spain.

El Corte Inglés has received offers for the purchase of some of its most profitable establishments, including those in Madrid, Barcelona and Marbella. One of those is Torre Titania, formerly the Windsor Building, in Madrid. At the other end of the spectrum, the department store giant owns several stores opened during the first few years of the crisis: almost 24 points of sale, most of which generate significant losses.

One of its most recent operations was closed in October, when the company sold a building in Sevilla to Stoneweg for €10 million, as reported by Eje Prime. The objective of the new owner is to convert that property into a hotel.

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño & I. P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Interview With Rupert Lea, Partner & Retail Director At C&W

3 February 2017 – Eje Prime

Rupert Lea, Partner and Retail Director at Cushman & Wakefield, analyses the evolution of the retail sector over the last year. “There has been an increase in high street operations, but the deals involving shopping centres have really taken the lead and are positioning themselves as a trend for the next two years”, he said, in an interview with Eje Prime.

Question: Now that 2016 is over, what assessment would you make of last year in terms of retail operations?

Answer: In terms of the volume of transactions, it was somewhat better than 2015. But now, the great trend that we are seeing are shopping centres. We have seen more operations involving shopping centres and retail parks: between 2009 and 2013, there was minimal rotation; investment volumes decreased until 2012. (…). Now, investment is growing at a rate of 50%, driven primarily by the capital markets.

Q: What will 2017 be like?

A: The retail market is a wave: it rises and it falls. Demand will continue to be constant and will have the same strength for the next two years. What sets the tone is the availability of supply, something which fluctuates a lot more in the case of shopping centres and centres that are not prime. (…).

Q: In 2017, several important operations that were closed years ago will bear fruit, for example, Uniqlo, H&M…Is the pace of operations still active?

A: Yes. We negotiate with operators from all sectors who are interested in Spain, including those who want to continue to grow brands that already operate in the country. There is still scope for more flagships to be opened in Spain in very profitable locations for operators, but they have to be experienced stores. That is another trend that is growing strongly. (…).

Q: Can we say that the sector has recovered its pre-crisis rhythm?

A: Any references to pre-crisis are complicated, because periods cannot be compared. What we can say is that some values have now reached higher figures (than pre-crisis), and some other values have not. Monetary policy and investor spirit have changed.

Q: What is the thing that interests operators the most in Spain?

A: Appropriate area of influence, robust consumption, suitable locations and suitable store sizes. The latter is the most difficult to achieve, because there are stores on prime streets that do not fulfil the requirements. Spain has a culture that involves a lot of socialising on the street and that generates a lot of opportunities for retail businesses. The success of tourism is also important for operators to take into account; millions of people visit the country each year and that is like the icing on the cake for retailers. (…).

Q: Do you think that the boom in e-commerce will put an end to the development of retail?

A: E-commerce is a complement. We see e-commerce as an ally: it was born as a challenge for high street traders, but we are seeing successful cross-market formulae. We have online operators who are looking for locations so that users on the street can observe their presence. We also have inverse cross-market formulae: customers want to return in store goods that they purchase online. This is the era of omnichannels, and e-commerce is clearly a complement. (…).

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake