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Commercial force of the center city

Leeds, 15th October 2015

Sometime I have heard the expression that modern merchants and retailers want to be, over everything, in the downtown. And that if many of them open establishments in the suburbs of the big cities it is just only because they cannot do it inside, either by for not finding spaces adapted to its size, or by the prohibitive prices that sometimes they find

The reflection is relevant to the coincidence in time of the opening of the great shop Primark in Gran Vía of Madrid, and the award ceremony of the ICSC to Trinity Leeds, the shopping centre that Land Securities inaugurated in 2013. I feel very pleased by seeing in the city centres such strong commercial concentrations! Incorporating the most highly collection that the modern commercial sector can offer.

In Leeds’s downtown, sixth city in the ranking purchase in Great Britain, together to the Marks&Spencer, BHS, Next, TopShop, Primark de Trinity Leeds, line up in the same commercial pedestrian core the House of Fraser, Debenhams, Gap, Zara, H&M … Also with Harvey Nichols in the incredible shopping galleries of Vitoria Quarter, And with the arrival in 2016 of wished John Lewis in newly Victoria Gate who is promoting Hammerson.

How does one compete from the suburbs with these macro commercial concentrations? There is better way of invigorating and regenerating life in downtown downtown than with a commercial offer of this type?

Return of the cranes

Valdebebas, 1st September 2015

The leap of the statistics to the reality is one of the most difficult exercises to achieve, even putting determined interest to understand those across the observation on this one. The process of recovery of the Spanish economy this last time can easily validate in these months with the frequent appearance of news about business results in the business pages of the newspapers. Repeated growths sales benefits, ebitdas, … quarterly or annual, are again habitual for some time now. After many years with a lack of them.

But this observation is still often slightly distant from the reality that is seen. The immediate business perspective offers evident symptoms of recovery, and in our sector they are already many who are experiencing it. And not only in the investment domain, where the good news and the return of the activity already goes back to the whole 2014, but already also in the retail sales, the rents, the clearance, the delays in the collection, etc.

But I today like to keep with these photos that again show cranes leaning out in an almost challenging way, I would say, in the clean horizon autumnal of the Paus of Madrid. A tour through Valdebebas, through Vallecas, through Fuente del Fresno they show us cranes working and cranes being assembled. As swallows, they come to demonstrate us in a palpable way that something is changing indeed into the real Spanish economy in the last times.

Innovation of the formula of the Shopping Centres

Girardot, 28th may 2015

What more pleasing memories! What lucky times we have lived with the progressive development of the formula of the shopping centres in Spain in the 80s and 90s! ! What magic was radiating every new center that was coming to a medium-size size city!

Today I remember again with contained emotion these sensations esensations in the medium-size size cities in Colombia. I visited thel Unicentro in Girardot, a city of approximately 80.000 inhabitants to the south of Bogota, newly inaugurated by Pedro Gómez, probably the of most tradition promoter of the national scene. A big center, of 23.000 m2, well executed , with all the facilities and characteristics of the present centers. And with an interesting collection of many of the store chains that are obtaining national implantation in the country.

The Manager was explaining to myself as the neighbors of the municipality they were approaching with respect, in amazement, to the facilities of the centre. How they were experimenting, they were rising and going down the mechanical stairs that they had never seen, how they were appearing to the shop windows, how there were astonished by the materials, the cleanliness, the gardening, how they were showing almost religious respect for a new world full of unknown sensations,and that now, by the hand of the new shopping centre, ending up being at their disposal, more than never.

It has been always said that any real-estate promotion is the result of many years of work, of commitment, of taking risks on the part of a promoter. But the special of the shopping centre is to verify how, from the following day of the inauguration, the result of all this effort delivers to the population to whom is going to give service, and how they will make it immediately theirs, they are really going to get to feel it. And in what extent his commercial future success is going to precisely depend on this appropriation. What satisfaction to verify that the mechanism continues repeating itself in the new countries, in the new cities that are joining to the fórmula!

No long term future

London, 22nd April 2015

It is amazing for some time now to observe almost all the airports that you visit have incorporated this trend of subduing the passengers with duty-free shops interposed in a very disputable way with the passage of the passengers who go towards their boarding gates.

It has not been many years since I had the opportunity to take part in the design and configuration of the commercial areas of what was going to be new T4 in Barajas, and we always knew the important thing that the sales momentum is in these businesses.

But they were not yet times to allow anything else beyond a good frontal placement or a sufficient length of shop window in the most frequented circulation areas. But since then, we have seen how Aena in Spain, but systematically also the rest of the big companies of exploitation of airports, they have succumbed to the temptation and have decided to introduce directly to the whole flow of passengers coming from the security or passports controls inside the shops. Forcing sometimes, not only the burden of the interposed goods but forcing sometimes to long run across.

The last remodelings of the T4, but also Malaga, Palma and many different in Spain, the different terminal of Heathrow or Gatwick, the last amazing remodeling of Lisbon, Fiumicino, Munich or Frankfurt have been falling inexorably to the trend, and they all tempt the sale istanding in the way without any respect of all the users passengers.

I do not believe that this is a formula with long-term future We already know that the airports have discovered that the commercial income can and must overcome the strictly aeronautical ones. And this is not going to change. But it does not seem to be reasonable that it is at the current price. We will see progressively reorganize the duty-free areas to situations with good exhibition and easy access, but respecting clear areas of circulation and out of the commercial area in order that the passengers who do not wish it should not circulate along them.

After all this trend reminds me the one that we had in some moment in the shopping centres, where, for assuring good circulations and flows in front of increasing lengths of mall, we ended up by placing remote stairs and communication hearts, forcing unnecessarily the tours. Its following malfunction demonstrated that the confort an the satisfaction of the client should take priority over these excesses.

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