Although it wasn’t, it felt like our first time in Barcelona. This time, instead of sightseeing we did what we love most: searching and finding shopping trends.

We couldn’t wait to find out why Barcelona is described as one of the greatest shopping cities in the world! And with two days to do it, there was no time to waste. So, with a list and our google maps we started our adventure (with a few tapas, pinchos and bocadillo on route).

We set out to find out all about ‘home stores’, with a detour to perfumeries and jewellery stores too.

30,000 steps later, walking through all the Barrio’s here are some of our lasting impressions about shopping in Barcelona.

Global Brand Consistency & Localisation

Zara Home was the first ‘home store’ we visited. We were surprised to see no real difference from the UK Zara Home – we’d expected more localisation through product ranging but on a positive note it felt like home. All the great brand assets we love including dramatic windows (filling you with excitement of how your room could look) and wonderfully displayed merchandise (helping you to find your key look and how to get it) were the global glue that delivered brand consistency . Then we stumbled upon a simple hand written note in a book, laying on a bed greeting you with ‘Good day Barcelona’ (phew we’re in Barcelona). This personal touch became more apparent in other global ‘know stores’ in Barcelona too. Showcasing how global brands are adding warmth and familiarity to the shopping experience, making them feel local.

Do ONE thing right

We came across a few stores in Barcelona that embraced doing ONE thing really well. Natura Casa is a prime example of how the store reflects just one story – natural. Their brand personality came across throughout  – the ambience, the smell, the products – nothing was out of place and everything was cleverly chosen to reflect the natural environment. If only we had a bigger suitcase! It’s definitely worth a visit.

Moving on to Calma House, a home & garden textiles store, from the moment you step in you know exactly what they are all about! Just great textiles.

Two great examples of organizations who really understand its brand, its purpose and the power of simplicity.

Digital Display

The other interesting observation was the use of in-store digital display and overhead lighting displays. They definitely play a big role in-store POS and VM. This was noticeable across high end brands such as Armani, and in sports stores like Nike and Adidas where they used it to introduce new products. And in Sephora they used digital display to encourage customers to interact with the brand. All in all, each store harnessed the power of visual movement brilliantly, making you want to spend time to engage with the brand.

The power of the English Language

We were amazed at how much the English language was used in stores. From promotional and seasonal campaigns to signage and brand POS all talking to you in English. Great for us, to this day I still can’t pronounce the word ‘Rebaixes’ (Catalan for sale)

While these aren’t all new trends, they do reinforce our belief that retail spaces must engage with all your senses to be a success.

All in all, it was a delightful couple of days and an experience we would highly recommend.

Sue & Dorina