Designer shopping outlet in La Jonquera
As you’re leaving La Jonq, you will have noticed building work going on on your left. This actually started years ago and was abandoned, but the project finally got the green light. Gran Jonquera Designer Outlet and shopping centre was opened on Thursday 16th May.
With his brother Abel, 59 year old Antonio Escudero, head of the Escudero group and its 300 employees, already owns two hypermarkets, three restaurants, a hotel, a wine bar, a sports shop, wine cellars, a magazine….. The shopping centre is the icing on the cake and is expected to attract a large number of the seven million people who pass through the area annually.
The story of the Escudero family is a rags to riches tale. Arriving in 1972 from Castilla-La Mancha, they began, like many poor Spaniards at the time, as grape pickers in France, then waiters.
In the 90s, the family bought 22 acres south of La Jonquera, hanging on to it when Spain became part of the EU in 1993, when many traders left, expecting business to die with the opening up of the borders.
Pooling all their money, the three brothers and their wives saved 9 million pesetas (55,000 euros) and launched the bodega Licors Escudero. In 1994 they bought their first supermarket…..and so the Escudero empire began.
A new low price designer shopping outlet, consisting of around 80 shops and boutiques, mainly clothes, is on the cards for La Jonquera next year. Confirmed this week by the mayor or La Jonquera, and originally planned to open in 2012, the work was stopped in 2010 for administrative reasons, but is due to restart this autumn.
Based along the lines of La Roca Village on the outskirts of Barcelona, the outlet, on the main road near the motorway exit, is being developed by businessman Antonio Escudero, developer of several supermarkets and “all-you-can-eat buffet” in the area, and will have a surface area of 10,000 m2, provide in excess of 350 jobs, 700 parking spaces, and cost around 15 to 20 million euros to complete.
There is also still a possibllity that Ikea will open another shop at Pont de Molins, near Figueres.