Madrid | La Central will open its new bookstore in Callao in the spring and is considering expanding into “residential areas”

  • They will move to the building opposite, on the same Postigo de San Martín, once the renovations are completed, between the end of March and the beginning of April.

  • In the capital, according to the director of La Central, Antonio Ramirez, “the idea is to develop a local model in the future, smaller, on a smaller scale, where the good selection of books we have is more important”

The symbolic La Central de Callao, the bookstore installed since 2012 in the Elisabeth Palace located on Calle del Postigo de San Martín, n° 8, in Madrid, opens a new stage. As announced by EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA in mid-November, it will move into the building opposite, previously occupied by Júlia Perfumery. Catalan brand, which he founded Antonio Ramirez and Marta Ramoneda And in the 1990s “conflicts” fell out of her reach, which led her to leave her headquarters in Madrid, as stated in the statement issued at the end of December in which they confirmed the news of the move.

The site is spam. Nor is the moment. “It was a little hasty because we didn’t count on leaving this year from here; We thought we were going to stay longer and it was a matter between 3rd parties that forced us to leaveRamirez, director of La Central, explains to this newspaper. The company that owns the mansion, and with which the bookstore signed a 14-year lease, filed for bankruptcy in June 2022, around the time the auction closed. The certificate was issued by the government agency’s Official Gazette, The Commercial Court No. 6 of Madrid paralyzed the auction, which ended with the sale of the property for 11.85 million euros, at a price of 8.540 euros per square metre.

“Over a year ago, we started hearing that the previous owner had difficulties with a bank that wasn’t paying him the mortgage. The entity seized the mansion, put it up for auction, and bought it from a third party for an amount higher than the amount requested,” Ramirez says.

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When the auction was held, La Central was warned that she had to leave what had been her home for more than a decade, because “everyone who bought the mansion I had much higher economic expectations than we could possibly haveAfter contacting the property’s new owner, they realized La Central had “no choice” to stay in that privileged enclave. It’s more than 100% change from what we were paying for previously,” he admits.

Whoever bought the mansion had economic expectations that were much higher than we could possibly have.”

Antonio Ramirez, Director of La Central

Antonio Ramirez does not feel “victim” of a speculative operation, but refers to the management of the previous owner, the company is of Aragonese origin Postigo SA Real Estate, “for not complying with his obligation.” With this entity, La Central signed a lease agreement in 2011 extending to the next 14 years, but that agreement was discontinued at the time the property was purchased at auction. On premises formerly occupied by Júlia Perfumery, they would pay “lower and more reasonable” rent. They will move there when “Two or three months of reform” between the end of March and the beginning of April.

The center evaluated alternatives with similar characteristics to that farm, but the rental price was once again unacceptable. “We were looking for local options for the 1000mBut we always found ourselves with the problem that rents in the downtown area of ​​Madrid were hard for a bookstore,” an area where a company like this “could not compete with a clothing chain,” Antonio Ramirez justifies. The establishment that was located right in front of it, At No. 9 of the same street, despite the fact that it is a building with a commercial area four times smaller than the current building. “We have moved from the 800 square meters we had a shop, which excluded an important part of the office, basement and restaurant 200 meters away.”

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Book surplus and new stores

With change, they lose along the way the environments they’ve welcomed so far the academy where they teach their courses, the cafeteria restaurant, El Bistro, and the cocktail bar, El Garito. All books that have been on display up to now in the palace and that do not fit into the new building will be moved. Therefore, they would transfer “a lot of money that, today, is also not needed,” he says.

“A small part of the books, especially those with articles, we will take to the Museo Reina Sofía store, where we will recover the 100 square meters that we had before and which we have stopped using since the epidemic. The rest, it was there. The payment will be sent to Barcelona and part will be returned.” to distributors to replace them with other copies,” announced Antonio Ramirez.

from here, Central will implement the “change of idea” in its business model in the capital. In Barcelona they have a larger store, one in El Raval, and two more of a more modest size, one in Diagonal and one in the Museu Historia de Barcelona (MUHBA). In Madrid, they followed a similar philosophy: they had La Central de Callao, the largest institution, and the Museo Reina Sofía, the smallest. But the future of the mansion owners changed their strategy.

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In Barcelona, ​​smaller bookstores work for them and they consider, based on that experience, “more coherent with what today’s reading public claims to have a store of 450 square metres, rather than one of 1,000”. The idea is to develop a Proximity model, smaller, on a reduced scalewhere the good selection of books we have is more important, and not exposed to a huge amount of collections, because anyone on the Internet has options to consult the catalog other than in physical form, ”explains the director of libraries.

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They will have a corner in the center of Madrid, but in the future they are looking more towards the “more residential areas surrounding”, where their offer is “nearness and they have Good close audienceAlthough “we still don’t have anything definite,” he says, “we’ll have to decide in the coming months.” “These ‘new ideas’ will see the light of day in the second half of this year,” he says.

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