Investment in Spanish city centres reaching record levels

PRIME ESTATE: Madrid’s Gran Via is holy grail of clothing giants.

INVESTMENT in Spain’s major city centres is approaching record levels.

Top international brands are competing for prime high street properties as the wider economy reboots. A new study from real estate consultancy JLL found that €402 million was pumped into the Spanish high street in the first quarter of 2017.

Much of the money comes courtesy of flagship stores set up by Primark, H&M, Zara, and other fashion giants.

The unveiling of Primark’s 7,000 square metre store in Madrid’s Gran Via attracted thousands of tourists and excited bargain hunters.

Prime property isn’t the sole reserve of fashion outlets. Ikea, Seat and Leroy Merlin are also interested in snapping up more central locations.

Decathlon is setting up three stores in the heart of Madrid. Demand is highest in Barcelona where one square metre on the Portal del Angel shopping street now costs €3,360.

The arrival of mega-stores more commonly found on industrial estates nearer the airport than the city centre has small businesses worried.

RetailCat, which represents 30,000 small stores, says it is impossible for them to compete with multinationals as rents rise.

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