After years of red tape and even legal proceedings, it finally seems that Primark, the low-cost clothing multinational, will get to open in La Cañada shopping centre next year.
General de Galerías Comerciales (GCC), the company that owns La Cañada, is close to completing remodelling work to the upper part of the premises, where a gym used to operate, so that the company can move in. The mezzanine floor, which was finally authorised by the council in 2018, has been constructed, creating the 6,500-square-metre plot that the company had requested.
Javier Moreno, manager of La Cañada, explains that the store will have three floors: two for the shop floor and a third for storage. It will have two lifts and two escalators.
Primark will invest around 11 million euros in this store, their first new opening globally since the start of the pandemic, which will generate more than 300 jobs.
Once the premises are handed over, it will take up to six months to fit it out, taking into account the uncertainty generated by the pandemic.
By way of explaining the seemingly excessive length of time predicted until opening in 2021, Moreno notes that the multinational, which does not have an online presence, has suffered a severe economic setback as a result of lockdown. He explains that as a result "their priority is to reopen the stores that were closed during this time", although they are "very interested" in La Cañada.
For the shopping centre, getting a Primark store is not such a major coup as they are present in other shopping centres in the province. However, it is considered strategically important as it will guarantee a lot of traffic.
A Primark store was first mooted in 2014 but planning permission for the construction of a mezzanine floor was rejected as it didn't comply with the town master plan (PGOU). This decision was upheld in the courts before the council approved a modification to the planning rules in December 2018 which allowed for changes that didn't modify the building's exterior.