The newly-refurbished Zara flagship store in Sliema has opened today, making it the largest and most modern store of its kind in Europe.
In an interview with The Malta Business Observer last week, the CEO of PG Group – owners of the Zara and Zara Home franchise in Malta – Charles Borg, had confirmed the opening date for the 28th November, but admitted that carrying out a large-scale project of this kind in Sliema had been challenging.
“Expanding in Sliema is no joke – you can hardly just buy up a few shops next to you – but the advantage we had is that we owned the Alhambra, and the back was still empty.”
Mr Borg said it had been difficult “finding contractors, abiding by authorities, regulations and restrictions, having to work during set hours because it’s a residential area, finding a place for the cranes, and so on.”
“We have had a lot of input from engineers and architects at Inditex. I must also compliment our project team which worked tirelessly and within very tight deadlines to ensure that we open the new store before the Christmas season.”
The shop now has two floors of ladieswear, one floor of menswear, one floor of childrenswear, and one for Zara Home, as well as two floors of storage.
The Group noted in its Annual Report that the closure of the shop for nearly five months, since mid-July, would have an impact on its turnover and results in the current financial year.
However, Mr Borg said that the company has the full support from the PG Group board, and fully expects to reap the returns from its investment, quickly offsetting the impacts of the store’s temporary closure.