Spain returns to shopping centers, which recover pre-pandemic sales


It is 6:00 p.m. on Friday, November 25, 2022. And beyond the fact that it is ‘Black Friday’, the almost 100 stores in the Madrid shopping center of prince pius they are overflowing with people. “It is a trend that we are seeing almost all year. More and more people are coming,” says a shop assistant at a sporting goods store in the mall. “It seems that with the crisis and the rise in prices people have to touch and see the product before buying it. Make sure well before paying. And this is something that is more noticeable now that Christmas is approaching. After the Covid-19 pandemic and with the historic rise in inflation, Spaniards return to the mall, to shop in person, while the a break in the growth of electronic commerce.

After the pandemic, the end of mobility restrictions and the arrival of the price crisis due, above all, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the slowdown in electronic commerce in Spain is evident and, as a symptom, one only has to look at the latest results from Amazon in Spain, with a sales drop close to 30%. On the other hand, according to data from the Spanish Association of Shopping Centers and Parks (AECC) “in the first half of 2022 the sales registered in the same period of 2019 have been reached, before the outbreak of the pandemic.

A sector that, after the strong impact it suffered in 2020 due to the pandemic, already raised its sales by 21.4% in 2021 compared to 2020, reaching 40,399 million euros, according to AECC data. One year, the past, in which up to a total of five new shopping centers were inaugurated in Spain: Los Patios de Azahara (Córdoba), the Vialia Estación de Vigo Shopping Center (Vigo), the Reino de León Shopping Park (León), Oasiz Madrid (Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid) and the Adeje Shopping Shopping Park (Adeje, Tenerife) .

The truth is that shopping centers are making a comeback, as shown by the data that Lar España has just made public, which has 14 shopping centers and whose main shareholder is the Socimi Castellana Properties which manages, in the first nine months of 2022, to exceed pre-pandemic levels in its centers and parks, achieving 58.6 million visits, 4.3% more than in the same period of 2019, and 9.9 higher to those of 2021. On the other hand, the sales of its assets reached 730.2 million euros, 16% more than in 2021, and also higher than those of 2019 by 10.1%. The CEO of Castellana Properties, Alfonso Brunethighlights that, despite the uncertainty due to the current economic situation, “all retailers are growing at double digits in shopping centers”.

“All ‘retailers’ are growing at double digits in shopping centers”

The sector recovers after the pandemic and from now to 2024 The opening of 30 new spaces throughout Spain is planned. Currently, our country has 570 centers that add up to a total of 16.5 million square meters of gross leasable area and accommodate 33,400 merchants and generate 794,000 jobs. In addition, the activity of these centers contributed more than 11,454 million euros to the Spanish GDP, which means 1% of the total and 10.8% of the GDP of the Spanish services sector. Thus, with these new openings in two years Spain will have a portfolio of 600 shopping centers and 790,000 new m2 of gross leasable area.

Among the 30 new centers that will be opened, the three largest will be the Solia Live Center (Madrid), Infinity (Valencia) and Breogán Park (A Grela, Coruña). The first two have 90,000 square meters and are promoted by Mackintosh Mall and AQ Acentor, respectively, and the one in La Coruña, with 60,000 meters, is promoted by Pelayo Capital.

The truth is that the retail sector has led real estate investment in Spain in the first semester, with a total volume above 2,917 million euros, the best figure since 2015, and eight times higher than in the first half of 2021. And by segments, shopping centers and supermarkets concentrated 58 percent of the total investment , street stores exceeded 23% and 19% focused on medium-sized stores.

“The malls are repositioning themselves as one of the best valued assets in retail. Undoubtedly, during the coming months the data provided will continue to be positive, together with an active demand, both international and national, and with a growing interest in prime shopping centers”, says Gonzalo Senra, national director of Retail at CBRE Spain.

Beyond these ‘macro figures’, at street level, or rather at store level, in one of these shopping centers this return to face-to-face commerce is palpable. Rosa acknowledges that she is “making Christmas gifts” in the aforementioned shopping center in Madrid “taking advantage of the Black Friday sales.” “Last year I did my shopping online”, but “now there are no restrictions due to Covid and I like buying in person more like all my life, and thus see, check and touch what I buy. I prefer it that way rather than buying seeing the article by photo on a screen ”, she confesses. Of course, she acknowledges that the budget for gifts this year for her, her husband and her two teenage children, has not increased and will be the same as last year, “about 300 euros”, with which ” evidently I will be able to buy less things than a year ago because everything is much more expensive”.


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