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This Thursday, FC Barcelona had held the official opening of Barça Store de Canaletes, its flagship store located in the heart of La Rambla. The event, inspired by the 1920’s, was attended by President Josep Maria Bartomeu, as well as different representatives of the club’s professional sports teams, including the latest signing to the football team, Martin Braithwaite, who was presented this very evening, plus Barça coach Quique Setién.
The presentation was also attended by guest athletes, members of the Catalan civil society, social organisations in the city, such as the Amics de la Rambla, and representatives of organisations for local and economic development, and institutions such as Barcelona City Council. On the part of the club, the attendees included the captains of the professional handball, futsal and roller hockey teams, Victor Tomàs, Sergio Lozano and Aitor Egurrola, and women’s footballer Melanie Serrano,as well as futsal player Ferrao. Also present were board members Maria Teixidor, Jordi Moix, Emili Rousaud and Josep Ramón Vidal-Abarca, along with the CEO, Òscar Grau. Also present was the technical secretary of professional football, Éric Abidal. Besides, the event was attended by the coaches Lluís Cortés, Women's team, Xavi Pascual, handball, Andreu Plaza, futsal, and Eduard Castro, roller hockey, as well as the managers Toni Miró, Txus Lahoz, and David Barrufet.
At an event accompanied by live music, the store was decked out in a 1920’s theme in homage to the building’s history and an era when it used to be the head offices of the newspaper Las Noticias. It was also a decade in which Barça fans would celebrate the club’s titles at this precise location. Whenever they wanted to know how their team had done all they had to do was head to the offices of Las Noticias and El Sol, which was also located in La Rambla, and check the blackboards that were hung on the wall to display the day’s scores. If Barça had won, they’d celebrate there and then.
Barça Store de Canaletes covers a total of 1,900 m2 divided into three floors and offers a 100% Barça experience. It’s a truly innovative outlet, through which Barça has taken a major step forward in its plan to expand its retail business, channelled through the Barça Licensing & Merchandising (BLM) company that was set up two years ago.
A Barça experience
At this store, FC Barcelona has premiered a new concept by combining new technologies and characteristic elements related to the club’s traditions, the idea being to offer the visitor a unique Barça experience: exciting, innovative and taking care over every detail. As they enter, visitors are greeted by first team players in hologram format in a huge shop window that mimics a locker room, and who gesture to fans to invite them into the store.
The ground floor is mainly dedicated to men’s clothing and first team kits, and has a central space surrounded by LED screens showing images of the Camp Nou. The dynamic, surround audiovisuals that accompany visitors are they go about their shopping makes them feel like they are really inside the stadium, soaking in all of its atmosphere and emotions. This area is completed by a striking replica of Canaletes fountain, an iconic image of Barça culture that simply could not be ignored at a place like this.
On the first floor we find the women’s collection and the kits of all the club’s different pro sports. This used to be the old tea room of Hotel Montecarlo, now converted into a room where one can breathe the passage of time beneath a mannequin wearing Leo Messi’s shirt that can be seen from the street through a huge window. Finally, there is a fussball table presenting a symbolic match between Barça and a team of eleven characters from Catalan and Barça history, including Salvador Dalí, Montserrat Caballé and Joan Gamper. A timeline in the form of a mural honours some of the greatest moments in club history and there is also an area where fans can buy tickets for the Camp Nou or the Museum.
Controlling FC Barcelona retail
On July 2018, FC Barcelona recovered the use of its merchandising rights which until then had been operated by FCB - Merchandising, a company 100% owned by Nike. Barça directly assumed management of the area by setting up BLM, meaning the brand is now back under the club’s own direct control as it continues its global expansion.
This strategy includes the creation of a network of official points of sale managed 100% by FC Barcelona, of which the Canaletes store is the flagship establishment and the second largest in terms of surface area, after the Camp Nou store. In addition to these, the club also owns stores in Passeig de Gracia, Roca Village and Terminal 2 at Barcelona Airport.
Statement by Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of FC Barcelona
“Barça Store Canaletes is the first major project in the plans to expand BLM, which as you know is Barça Licensing & Merchandising, to manage all of the retail generated by FC Barcelona. A club like ours, the biggest sports brand in the world, with millions of fans, arouses an interest that is reflected in the thousands of garments and products that feature the Barça colours and crest. We have more than 7,000 officially licensed products, and since we created BLM, the club has been directly operating them all, assuming all the business risks involved, but also all the profits. We are talking about an annual turnover of over 60 million euros”.
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