The province records its greatest deficit as spending exceeds the averages for Andalusia and Spain
The city has not had just one new shopping area for the past 17 years
MARÍA VICTORIA REVILLA
The biggest consumers, but the ones with the fewest shopping areas. That is the conclusion of the data cross-referencing carried out by the Seville group Bogaris Retail in a report pointing to Almería as a province with business opportunities for the sector and considering the lack of existing shopping centres and an offer it describes as “obsolete”.
Whether or not you agree with this consideration, there is no arguing with the figures. The commercial density in Almería is 275 square metres for every 1,000 inhabitants, compared with the current average of 698 square metres in Spain and 410 in Andalusia. The people of Seville have a varied offer, with up to 16 shopping centres to choose from. And Málaga and Cádiz cannot complain, with 14 and 10 centres respectively. In Andalusia there is a total of 105 large operational areas, of which just three are concentrated in the metropolitan area of the city of Almería (the Avenida del Mediterráneo shopping centre and the Viator and Huércal retail parks).
The capital of Almería province is therefore at the bottom of the Andalusian league for commercial density, a situation that contrasts with the consumption indices cross-referenced by Bogaris Retail, with La Caixa as the source.
Total consumption in Almería province is 1,000 million euros and spending per inhabitants amounts to 1,044.96 euros. In general terms the average consumption of the people of Almería is above the average for Andalusia. “This fact is not related to the existing commercial density, which leads us to a situation where there is a shortage of offer in the area,” explains Bogaris, adding that “the current street shopping offer in Almería is largely small and incomplete, and has become obsolete, as there are no sufficiently well-established shopping streets. To this is added a range of small shops that does not meet the needs of the current large-scale operators”.
Almería’s retail deficit is, of course, nothing new. In 2007, the Government of Andalusia warned of it when recording a negative balance of 23% for the city and its metropolitan area, placing it even then at the bottom of the Andalusian league, in contrast to Huelva, with a similar population, which recorded a surplus that year of 27%.
The figures, however, did not provoke despair as new retail areas were already planned to provide the city with 324,000 square metres, with the opening of La Rambla shopping centre, El Corte Inglés at La Salle, El Toyo shopping centre and the Torrecárdenas retail park. To these shopping areas were added other initiatives such as Renfe’s retail land, the Bayyana rest area and ground-floor premises at what was going to be the Juan Rojas Sports City.
The hurricane of the crisis has swept most of these initiatives away while the commercial density of the city has not increased, with just one shopping centre operating since 1998. Since then, 17 years have gone by.