Pepco and Sports Direct will open on H&M's old premises. / SUR

Four new stores set to open their doors in Vialia shopping centre

Clothing brands Pepco, Sports Direct and Paco Martínez, as well as fast food restaurant Popeyes, are set to open in the next few months in the mall next to Malaga's main train station

JUAN SOTO

The Vialia shopping centre, right next to the María Zambrano train station in Malaga city centre, is welcoming four new establishments: Pepco, Sports Direct, Popeyes and Paco Martínez.

The arrival of Pepco, a Polish brand specialising in low-cost clothes, has been long anticipated. Known as the Polish Primark, they are popular all over Europe, and have chosen Malaga for their first Spanish branch.

Pepco will take the place of H&M in the shopping centre, next to the main hall of the station. For now, the exact opening date is unknown, although the company have already set up a large poster announcing their arrival with the words 'Hello Malaga!'. Their collections are aimed at customers of all ages, although they are best know for their childrens' range. In fact, the company claims to be a leader in the textile sector for under-14s in Europe.

Sports Direct will open right next door to Pepco, occupying the rest of H&M's old premises. The space has been unoccupied since November 2019, when the branches in Félix Sáenz square and Vialia both closed. Sports Direct, a leading UK sportswear chain, has another branch next to Toys'R'Us in Malaga.

The third new store is Paco Martínez, a Spanish brand specialising in leather goods, handbags and travel products. Founded in Alicante in 1958 by businessman Francisco Martínez, it currently has one other shop in the Malaga province, in the Miramar shopping centre in Fuengirola. They are based on a franchising model, and have over one hundred shops across Spain and Portugal.

Restaurant

The opening of Popeyes is expected to be very popular. The global fast food chain specialising in Louisiana style chicken has chosen Vialia for its first venture in Malaga province. They will open their doors on the first floor of the shopping centre, next to 100 Montaditos and opposite KFC. Founded in 1972, Popeyes is hoping to open two Malaga branches: this one in Vialia and another in Plaza Mayor shopping centre.

Popeyes opened their first branch in Spain right before the pandemic and already have 50 establishments across the country. Their goal is to double this to at least 90, as well as tripling their 2021 turnover of 20 million euros.

As if this wasn't enough, Recrealia, the childrens play centre, reopened in April. The space is open on weekends for children between four and 12 years old, and offers activities, workshops, entertainment and events are offered for the youngest members of the family.

Since reopening after the pandemic, Vialia shopping centre has had a complete overhaul of the shops on offer. As well as the four stores mentioned above, Casa Kiki, Leggins Urban, Aw Lab y The Entertainer also opened recently, and the work space Work Hub reopened.