The traditional outdoor shopping stroll in Madrid is transforming. The historic Gran Vía evolves at the pace of tourism with new proposals for restaurants and retail stores highly focused on international tourism. The artery runs as a commercial hub in the line of New York’s Fifth Avenue, London’s Oxford Street or the Avenue of the Champs Elysees in Paris, with macrostores seeking to be associated with unique experiences.
Indeed, Gran Vía also arouses commercial interest among the world’s largest service firms. The presence of restaurant chains such as the American “Five Guys” (gourmet hamburger), the Californian Carl’s Jr (American West Coast-style sandwich) or Tony Roma’s restaurant chain, with a 500 sq. m restaurant, are examples of the tourist attractions of the avenue, in the heart of Madrid.
Flagship store, another tourist attraction in Gran Vía
Technological company Huawei’s opening on Madrid’s Gran Vía of its largest store in Europe confirms the sign of transformation of the emblematic street. Flagship stores may become another attraction and a must for the tourist, and this concept of high impact experiences comes to prove it.
These stores transmit omni-channel retailing in a better way, and large companies are investing in them: although products can be purchased in flagship stores, they are brand spaces that are part of the experiential marketing strategy of large companies that have become points of attraction for many tourists who visit the city in which they are located.
There are no stores available for such demand
High street: in times of greater competition, especially in major European capitals and due to the greater demand for spaces, prime streets are on the rise. One of Madrid’s centers of attraction is Gran Vía, which today shows low retail vacancy rates and a large number of projects awaiting transformation. Meanwhile, an increase in rents is expected due to the shortage of rental supply to meet the investors’ appetite.
In turn, the demand of players in search of retail space puts more pressure on residential space and housing prices. Gran Vía now has emblematic buildings with 200 and 300 sq. m flats targeted by investors.
What will be the impact of the pedestrianization of Gran Vía?
Although the final result of the urban project that seeks to reduce motor vehicle traffic and increase pedestrian spaces is still unknown, a positive impact is expected in the commercial sector.
Weather is a non-minor factor to be considered: while other capitals need to cover their open commercial areas with galleries, the good weather in Madrid is a unique incentive for the commercial sector.