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La Roca Village: Most Experience per Sqm

Barcelona | Northeast of Barcelona lies La Roca Village – a premium outlet shopping center with a sales density higher than almost any other place. invidis visited the village to experience the differences to inner-city retail. Strict rules for digital signage limit the use of digital POS media and stringent Spanish energy saving measures change storefronts in outlet centers.

At La Roca Village, the best customers are welcomed in The Lounge, an exclusive rooftop club. If you are one of the selected shoppers, you can rest here during your shopping trip or even have products from all the Outlet Village stores delivered for you to your private fitting room. Exclusive shopping doesn’t get any better, even in city center branches of luxury brands.

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La Roca Village is part of the Bicester Collection and belongs to the British retail real estate group Value Retail, which operates premium outlet malls in Europe, China and soon also in the US.

European outlet shopping: Worlds apart from North America

Outlet mall concepts differ significantly – especially between Europe and North America. While outlet malls in North America are often architecturally monotonous, in Europe, they rely on open-air shopping streets with local architecture and upscale restaurants. In Barcelona, there is even a brand new, bright underground car park with living walls waiting for customers. These chic shopping promenades are a world away from American-style outlet malls filled with fast food courts and cheap goods.

The concept of outlet malls has been established in Europe for decades and today provides the highest sales density of all retail formats. Premium outlet shopping is especially popular with overseas visitors with whose average spendings are x-times higher than those of local visitors. In La Roca’s over 150 stores, shoppers can find many of the major global brands.

Challenging surrounding for digital signage

The success of outlet malls is based on space efficiency, standardized processes without compromising brand identities and low barriers for shoppers to enter the stores. The stores usually only have a narrow shop front, which leaves little space for window design and digital signage. The retail design and fit-out needs to allow shoppers to look deep into the store from the outside, without screens or LED obstructing the line of sight.

Originally, digital signage installations were not allowed at all in premium outlet malls. But in recent years, the pressure from brands to set up digital signage screens in outlets has increased. A few screens can already be found in La Roca, some even in shop windows.

Sustainable with automatic doors

Until the pandemic, it was mandatory in La Roca Village to always keep the shop doors open for improved shopper footfall. It is well known in retail, that open doors significantly drive footfall. But with the with in Ukraine came new energy-saving regulations that require retailers to keep their doors closed during business hours. La Roca is adapting to the new regulation by equipping stores with automatic sliding doors that comply with the law. They open up when a shopper approaches the store and are transparent for best view inside the store.