Despite Spain’s economicabyss, key fashion retailers here say Barcelona’s tourists are saving the day.
“Barcelona is the most visited city in Spain with tourists from all over the world, which fuels [retail] growth. Thanks to the ever-growing number of visitors, Loewe’s business last year at the Paseo de Gràcia flagship yielded the highest growth of its 170-store global network,” said Loewe chief executive officer Lisa Montague.
She attributed the positive results to the store’s renovation by Peter Marino and “Spain’s best artisans, who discovered and restored original stuccos and decorative Art Nouveau finishes. Loewe is very proud to occupy one of the city’s most emblematic [Modernist] buildings, and the Paseo de Gràcia is [a landmark].”
Expanded to 10,000 square feet, the three-level luxury leather-goods store — the world’s largest Loewe unit — re-opened in March 2012. It houses the brand’s multiple collections and the first Amazona Atelier, a bespoke corner.
Santa Eulalia ceo Luis Sans said, “Barcelona is insulated from the Spanish meltdown, like a bubble in the middle of a desert. It’s protected by international tourism.”
The Catalan capital accounts for half of Spain’s total non-European Union purchases, he said, and “Paseo de Gràcia is the most pedestrian-trafficked street in Spain. It’s human and intimate with a little bit of everything, including high-profile locations and major tourist attractions like [Antonio Gaudi-designed buildings] La Pedrera and Casa Battló — and it’s the country’s third most expensive street,” he added.
In general, retailers reported a sales ratio of about 20 percent local and 80 percent tourists — mainly Russians; Americans from cruise ships, asBarcelona is one of Europe’s leading cruise harbors; Chinese, and Japanese.
A spokesman for Bottega Veneta said sales are driven by Russian and Asian tourists. The Italian leather brand opened a 2,153-square-foot store at the top of Paseo de Gràcia one year ago.
On average, rent for a 200-square-meter (2,153 square foot) locale is 2,400 to 3,000 euros a square meter annually, which translates to $287 to $359 a square foot, depending on location and facade, said local real estate broker Mónica Manguillot.
“A few properties on Paseo de Gràcia dropped rents about 5 percent in 2009 due to the crisis, but prices are currently stable,” she said. “There is a lot of demand here and high-profile retail activity, with some closures and new brands coming in, but not much is available.”
Two recent entries are H&M’s newest chain & Other Stories, which houses a full range of women’s ready-to-wear, accessories and beauty products. “We are very happy to open our Barcelona store in this magnificent location,” said Samuel Fernstein, head of the brand, at last month’s inaugural. “We want to get to know our Spanish customers — and to be inspired by their fashion vision.”
In February, Mango rolled out its 16th point of sale in Barcelona, a two-story locale at 36 Paseo de Gràcia.
“With the new store and 7.5 million tourists in the city, we are reinforcing our worldwide visibility,” said Mango expansion director Daniel López.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)