By  on October 31, 2011

MADRID — With the opening Thursday of Abercrombie & Fitch’s first Spanish location, the U.S. brand continues its retail expansion in key European markets.

The Madrid store — a four-floor space in the iconic 19th-century Palacio de Aguas on Calle Ortega y Gasset, rightly considered the city’s “Golden Mile” — is A&F’s seventh company-owned unit outside the U.S. and Canada. True to form, last week the Ohio-based retailer brought in 101 buffed and bare-chested male models to show off the new 12,379-square-foot store, which includes a 7,535-square-foot garden.

The youth-focused label launched its first European flagship in London four years ago, and last May opened a flagship on Paris’ Champs-Elysées. Additional stores are in Milan, Copenhagen, Brussels and Tokyo.

Despite recent figures that put unemployment at 21.5 percent, the highest since 1996, A&F’s Spain rollout doesn’t end here. Next stop is Barcelona, where construction is soon to begin on a 32,292-square-foot corner location on the Catalan capital’s international shop-heavy Paseo de Gràcia.

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