In recent years, the flagship store format has swayed the main shopping streets of the most important cities in the world. They are signature stores - flagships - of the firms: large spaces designed for the creation of a unique and exclusive shopping experience, where the brand shows all its greatness and a catalog of available products where the customer, rather than buying a product, acquires added value.
More than a store: flagship stores have become a powerful tool for brand boost and creation. And not only fashion brands have signed up to this trend: in July, SEAT announced the opening of a large store on the Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona, in the Deutsche Bank building. In more than 2,600 sqm, the automotive brand will not only install a huge dealership, but also establish a concert hall, with exhibition hall and coworking areas. In the same way, fashion firms add in their flagship stores coffee shops, stands with personalized services, spaces where other type of products are included (household items or cosmetics), among others.
When setting up their reference stores, brands choose to be located in the most emblematic, commercial and prestigious streets of large cities, in buildings with significant architecture and vast dimensions. "The objective is to stand out from the competition", explains Xavier Aguilar, manager of the Forcadell Retail Department. "When it comes to installing their signature stores, the brands look for an emblematic establishment that brings them prestige; an added value that distances its product from that of other firms and enriches the shopping experience that the client will experience".
The companies expand their presence establishing mega stores and Barcelona is one of the preferred destinations to locate these large establishments. Zara's new store in Plaça de Catalunya is one of the most significant examples. In terms of specific locations, we must highlight the Passeig de Gràcia, one of the most demanded shopping streets in Barcelona, which has become the flagship street par excellence and has seen the opening of an infinity of worldwide top brands: H & M, Massimo Dutti, Uniqlo and Louis Vuitton. According to Xavier Aguilar, manager for the Retail Department of Forcadell, "Barcelona, in addition to having some of the most prestigious streets in Spain at commercial level, has an ideal architecture to bring a special style to the flagship store".