Spain has made significant progress in the past year towards competing with the strongest European countries, although they still have a long way to go. According to a report on luxury retail by international real estate consultancy Savills, Spain has moved from eighth to fourth place in Europe's ranking of luxury boutique openings. This is no small achievement, demonstrating Spain's growing importance in the luxury retail sector.
Spain recorded 22 luxury store openings during 2022, 17 more than the previous year's figure of just 5 stores. This makes Spain the country in Europe with the fourth highest luxury store openings, behind the UK, Italy, and France, which occupy the top three positions on the list. Experts see Spain as one of the main beneficiaries of increased demand for premises from luxury brands.
Resumption of international tourism in Spain
The recovery of international tourism following the pandemic has played a crucial role in reviving luxury tourism. In fact, high-end tourism has been growing at 5 to 8% annually over the past six years, almost twice the growth rate of traditional tourism. Furthermore, the number of five-star hotels in Spain increased by 27% between 2015 and 2022, with many new hotels opening in Madrid.
According to experts, Chinese and Latin American tourists prefer Spain, the European country where luxury tourism contributes the most to the gross domestic product (GDP), specifically 2%, compared to the European average of 0.9%. This makes Spain the driving force behind the growth of this tourism model, which aims to triple its revenues over the next decade.
Madrid and Barcelona are the preferred destinations for high-end tourists. In the capital, the inauguration of Galería Canalejas last year boosted openings with new spaces for Louis Vuitton, Omega, Valentino, Rolex, Saint Laurent, Dior, Hermés, and Cartier. Nicknamed the "Golden Mile" and located close to emblematic places such as Retiro Park, the axis occupied by José Ortega y Gasset and Serrano streets is an international reference in luxury, with brands such as Gucci, Cartier, Joyería Suarez and Nicols.
The attractions of Madrid and Barcelona for luxury tourism
Madrid is a popular destination for luxury tourists, thanks to its recent openings and renovations of luxury hotels like the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, the Four Seasons, the Villa Magna, the JW Marriott, the Hyatt Centric, and The Madrid Edition. The city also boasts various cultural attractions and an extensive range of restaurants, including up to 24 Michelin-starred restaurants.
In Barcelona, seven new luxury stores opened in 2022. Zimmerman, a popular boutique, opened its first store on the luxury shopping avenue, Paseo de Gracia. The Etro store also relocated to this location last year. Luxury swimwear brand Eres and watchmaker Rolex were already present in Barcelona. Since 2020, brands like Armani, Tiffany, and Hermés have moved their stores to consolidate their positions in this luxury shopping destination.
Apart from Madrid and Barcelona, Puerto Banús and Ibiza are key brand locations. Puerto Banús boasts the most exclusive shopping area in Marbella and the highest number of luxury boutiques per square meter in Spain. On the other hand, Ibiza has gained an excellent reputation as an exclusive destination and meeting point for celebrities worldwide.
Mallorca, particularly its Paseo del Born, has become a destination for high-end home décor stores such as Rialto Living, La Pecera, and Casa Lima and boutiques such as Luis Vuitton, Max Mara, Bvulgari, and Escada.