Abercrombie & Fitch Set for Spanish Debut

The Madrid store is A&F's seventh company-owned unit outside the U.S. and Canada.

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

This story first appeared in the November 1, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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.