MadridMoney Mattersslider

The new Zara in town


by Jack Wright
Photos on inauguration day: Rose Maramba


The world’s biggest Zara store is lodged on four floors – counting the basement in – of the Edificio España which many are now prone to call the Hotel Riu Plaza España, on 84 Gran Via, even though the hotel occupies just a part — albeit a large part — of the building. It’s a prime area in central Madrid, right across from Plaza España, itself the biggest plaza in Spain.

Since its inauguration last 8 April, the Zara megastore has been converted, perhaps inadvertently – or is it? – into a tourist attraction! There are several factors contributing to this phenomenon.

  • The sweeping vanguard-design floor-to-ceiling glass windows that won’t let passersby not stop and ogle the clothes from the outside so that before they knew it, they’ll have crossed the doors into the store.
  • Its location in the Plaza España area which, after a total overhaul complete with reforestation of some 1,500 trees, is proving to be a mecca for local and foreign tourists. Zara is reaping the benefits of the plaza’s positive fallout.
  • The hugely popular Hotel Riu’s SkyBar 360º that keeps people queueing up and, in the process, letting those who still didn’t know that Zara was in the building too. And what a store!
  • The very Riu itself which, with its habitual full booking, is shepherding people – not by design – to this particular Zara.
  • The fact that the Zara at Plaza España is touted as the largest Zara store in the world has converted it into a must-try.

It helps also that this Zara, and its sister-store Stradivarius on the west wing of Edificio España, were the first Inditex stores to be opened immediately after heiress Marta Ortega assumed her post on 1 April 2022 as non-Executive Chairperson of Inditex, the world’s largest apparel retailer.

Where the public is concerned, the Zara at Plaza España marks Marta Ortega’s debut in the stratosphere of Inditex’s hierarchy. And they simply must see it for themselves.

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