Spain has tracked about two weeks ahead of the UK when it comes to the Coronavirus and its impact on retail and real estate is no exception. Back in April we reported on the early impact of the widescale closures, which acted as an insightful pre-cursor for what was to come in the UK. Today, it is promising to see how retail and shopping centres in Spain are faring during their phased reopening.
Zubiarte in Bilbao, which is owned in a join venture with Activum and asset managed by Milligan Spain, opened nearly two weeks ago. Despite strict hygiene measures and social distancing protocols, 83% of stores have been open and footfall has been surprisingly encouraging – at around 70%, compared with year on year figures. The centre is managing the new hygiene and capacity controls well and consumer confidence is optimistic. Footfall was up 20% week on week after its initial opening.
Xavi Alemany, Director of Asset Management Milligan Spain said; “Browsing and dwell time has understandably reduced so those who are visiting are here to buy which is resulting in a high purchase conversion rate. Prioritising safety and hygiene, but also complementing and carefully considering the customer’s purchase needs and in-store journey are going to be key in supporting all customers, retailers and operators through this never-before-seen transition.”
Customer video showing safety and social distancing measures in place at Zubiarte.
Elsewhere in Spain, 71% of shopping centres have reopened their doors, adhering to social distancing which limits occupancy to 40% in-store and 30% when moving through common areas. Madrid and Barcelona remain under lockdown, however shopping centres are expected to open there next week. Across the country, cinemas remain closed, however if trial runs over the next couple of weeks prove successful, they are expected to reopen at the beginning of July. Some restaurants are open or planning to open soon, depending on what phase the area is in and those with outdoor spaces and terraces are trading well.