El Corte Inglés Puts 2 Shopping Centres Up for Sale for €100M

3 August 2018 – Voz Pópuli

A new operation for El Corte Inglés. The distribution group has put up for sale two of its smaller department stores. The properties, located in Madrid and Bilbao, are considered non-strategic by the retailer although it will continue to occupy them as the tenant, according to sources close to the operation.

The Expansión newspaper reports that El Corte Inglés is finalising the sale of two establishments to Inbest, the investment vehicle owned by the manager Corpfin Capital Real Estate for around €100 million.

The department store group will continue to use the two buildings – located on Calle Princesa in Madrid and Gran Vía de Don Diego López de Haro in Bilbao – through a long-term lease contract.

This operation forms part of El Corte Inglés’s debt reduction plan. According to Expansión, it is the first divestment that the group will make following the appointment of Jesús Nuño de la Rosa as President in June.

Original story: Voz Pópuli

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mercadona Invests €80M in its Corporate HQ

26 January 2018 – Expansión

The largest supermarket chain in Spain, Mercadona, is looking forward to having new headquarters by 2021. The company chaired by Juan Roig has started work on the construction of an office complex that will house its central headquarters in Albalat dels Sorells, just over 10 km from the centre of Valencia.

The construction work of this authentic corporate city will involve an investment of €80 million to build three new properties with a surface area of 25,000 m2, as well as a large underground parking lot.

That amount does not include the price of the land, given that the plots in question have belonged to Mercadona for more than a decade when it first planned the development of this area for its future needs. In fact, the new offices will be located next to its data processing centre and a training and services centre that the company inaugurated in 2014 as a first phase, with an investment of €45 million.

The future corporate city will concentrate the activity and services that the Valencian company currently houses in its historic headquarters, an ancient building next to one of its supermarkets in the heart of the town of Tabernes Blanques and on the Fuente del Jarro de Paterna industrial estate. At the new site, the company will have the capacity to house around 1,000 workers; the construction work is scheduled to finish in 2021.

According to Mercadona, the new intelligent buildings have been designed in line with environmental criteria relating to energy efficiency, sustainability and responsible use of water. The supermarket chain expects around 150 suppliers to participate in the construction work and that around 600 people will work on the development over the next few years.

Original story: Expansión (by A.C.A)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lidl Boosts its Real Estate Business with €300M Investment

27 December 2017 – El Economista

Lidl is strengthening its commitment to the real estate sector. The German supermarket chain is planning to invest around €300 million next year (2018) buying up land and stores on/in which to open new supermarkets. Contrary to what most of the distribution sector is doing (the majority of retailers are selling their properties and leasing stores instead so as to focus on their core retail businesses), the German giant is standing firm in its commitment to the real estate recovery in Spain and so will continue investing.

With a current network of 540 stores, the idea is to own the largest possible number of stores. The average sales area amounts to around 1,500 m2, and so Lidl is looking for spaces measuring between 4,000 m2 and 9,000 m2, to allow space for warehouses and parking.

“Although we haven’t set an exact figure yet, the idea is to maintain the same rate of store openings as this year (2017), which means that we would open between 30 and 40 establishments in 2018”, explain sources at the company. Lidl arrived in Spain in 1994 and closed 2016 with a turnover of more than €3.335 billion, which represented an increase of 9.5% compared to the previous year. The company has also consolidated its position as the fifth largest operator in the sector with a market share of 4.3%, behind only Mercadona, Dia, Carrefour and Eroski, according to the latest market research published by the consultancy firm Kantar Worldpanel.

Presence at real estate fairs

Loyal to its real estate strategy, Lidl has already attended the recent exhibitions of the Barcelona Meeting Point fair to search for business opportunities. Moreover, it has decided to diversify its store opening strategy and enter, for example, traditional food markets (‘mercados de abastos’) and shopping centres.

In the case of the first, the German company has committed to opening stores in Barcelona, in the Sant Antoni and Vall d’Hebrón markets, and in Madrid, in the Tetuán market, in a strategy similar to the one being carried out by Mercadona. In the case of shopping centres, it has already opened its first store in this type of space in Islazul, in Madrid. Moreover, as well as new stores, Lidl is also making very significant investments in improving and modernising its existing stores.

Original story: El Economista (by Javier Romera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Uniqlo Opens Its Second Store In Spain

8 November 2017 – Expansión

The textile firm Uniqlo, owned by the Japanese group Fast Retailing, is pushing ahead with its expansion plans in Spain. After years searching for a suitable location, the Japanese company is going to open two stores in the country in just a month in a half.

On 20 September, Uniqlo opened its first store in Spain. The chosen location on that occasion was the building at number 18, Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona, opposite one of the country’s largest Zara stores, the main brand of the Inditex group. Measuring 1,730 m2, over three floors, the Japanese brand’s first store in Spain is enjoying considerable success that exceeds expectations, which has strengthened the firm’s commitment to the country.

“We are committed to this new market and we hope to open stores in several of the country’s main cities to bring Uniqlo’s LifeWear to the greatest number of consumers possible”, explain sources at the company.

Proof of this commitment is the opening of its second establishment. Uniqlo has also leased a store in the Gloriès shopping centre in Barcelona, where it will open its second store in Spain on Thursday 9 November. Specifically, the Japanese brand has leased 1,317 m2 in the centre, which is owned by the French-Dutch group Unibail Rodamco.

Uniqlo’s opening will coincide with the inauguration of the expansion of the shopping centre. With an investment of more than €100 million, the expansion works began in 2014. The ground floor was inaugurated in December 2016. Besides Uniqlo, H&M is also going to move into this space; it is going to open its largest shopping centre store in Spain in Gloriès, measuring 3,600 m2. The Swedish brand will also debut its H&M Home brand in Barcelona in this store.

Moreover, the new space will be home to the Mercat de Gloriès – a space with 20 local and international food products -, Fresh! – an area for fresh products that can be cooked on the spot – and La Cuina – an area focused on gastronomic encounters.

Unibail, one of the largest owners of shopping centres in Spain, plans to invest more than €677 million between now and 2024 developing large projects in Spain.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

AEW Europe Buys Mercado Fuencarral For €50M

15 August 2017 – Mis Locales

The real estate asset manager, AEW, has purchased the property from the fund ASG for €50 million. It is the company’s fourth operation in Madrid after it purchased commercial premises and offices on Calle Serrano. It closed the other operation in Alcobendas, with the purchase of the Amura building.

The operation has been advised by ASG Iberia Advisors, CBRE and Uría Menéndez on the sell-side, whilst Herbert Smith Freehills has advised AEW Europe.

The company says that its strategy is focused on creating a portfolio of high-quality, profitable retail assets, which are well-located within Europe’s main urban centres.

The property in question will have a new tenant, the sports clothing and accessories firm Decathlon. As such, Decathlon will have two stores on Calle Fuencarral, given that last year, it opened a shop at number 147, near Quevedo, with a surface area of 145 m2.

Original story: Mis Locales

Translation: Carmel Drake


Bankinter & Sonae Sierra’s Socimi Buys Its First Two Assets

27 March 2017 – Observatorio Inmobiliario

Ores, the Socimi created recently by Bankinter and Sonae Sierra, whose main activity is the acquisition and management of commercial assets in Spain and Portugal, has acquired two out-of-town stores in a deal that represents its first acquisition since its debut on the market.

The two commercial spaces, located in Artea, Bilbao and in the Galaria retail park, in Pamplona, have a combined surface area of approximately 8,400 m2 and are leased to Forum, a retailer specialising in sports, which has a long-term lease contract following a sale & leaseback operation signed in 2010.

Savills, the international real estate consultancy, has advised an investment fund with an extensive track record in Spain on the sale-side. On the legal side, Eversheds Nicea has advised the vendor and Cuatrecasas the buyer.

Luis Espadas, Director of Capital Markets at Savills, explains that “the out-of-town store market continues to form part of the focus of investors. It is a segment that still has significant potential for growth in terms of GLA volume and new operators entering the market and where we are seeing new interested investors, such as in this case”.

Original story: Observatorio Inmobiliario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Savills: RE Inv’t In Retail Parks Reaches Historical Peak

3 May 2016 – Mis Locales

Retail parks are sparking interest in the real estate investment market in Spain. In 2015, investment in this type of asset amounted to €500 million, i.e. seven times more than in 2014. In the context of total retail investment, that figure represented 21% of total volumes in 2015 and accounted for 20% of the total amount invested in this segment since 2000, according to a specialist report about the market, which the international consultancy firm Savills publishes each year.

So far this year, investment in retail parks already amounts to €122 million, i.e. 18% of the total amount invested in the retail sector. Although the majority of that figure relates to the sale of six retail parks by Bogaris to the JV created by Redevco and Ares for €95 million, Luis Espadas, Capital Markets Director for Savills Spain, says that “this operation is evidence of the interest being generated by these types of assets, which are attracting both new profiles of investors and new property developers. The investment figures registered so far this year exceed those recorded during the same period in 2015.”

From the point of view of real estate investors, this sector, which generates returns of 6% for prime products and which is prone to decrease due to the imbalance between supply and demand, is very interesting in the context of the recovery in consumption, given that it requires only moderate investment volume and generates higher levels of profitability than for other retail products. Moreover, it is “safe”, due to the quality of its tenants and the fact that it barely requires any management following the purchase.

Retail space in retail parks, just over 1.85 million sqm, now accounts for 12.5% of the retail real estate market and construction activity is continuing to grow, boosted above all by traditional domestic players in this segment in the retail sector, although other investor profiles, such as the Socimis, have also started to develop retail parks, such as the complex that Grupo Lar has announced that it will construct in Sagunto. In addition, international property developers are expected to enter the market, especially from France, to actively seek out land.

According to the consultancy firm, all of this will boost investment forecasts, on the one hand, along with the arrival of new operators to the format in the retail sector, on the other hand.

For the time being, the expansion plans of operators familiar with this format, such as Leroy Merlin, which expects to open 25 new stores between now and 2020; Ikea, with new formats such as the new delivery point in Navarra; Media Markt, Sprinter and supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi, as well as the entry into retail parks of less typical brands, such as H&M, C&A and Mustang, are proof of the consolidation of the retail park segment. (…).

The report also identifies which provinces have the greatest potential for the construction of retail parks, based on retail density and the spending capacity of each population. País Vasco, Cataluña, the Balearic Islands and Castilla León are the regions with the most suitable provinces for this business niche.

Original story: Mis Locales

Translation: Carmel Drake