The ‘Barcelona Commerce’ award brought ‘Loisaida’ recognition and backing from its suppliers
‘Loisaida’, a clothes and bric-a-brac shop in the heart of the Born neighbourhood run by its owner, Enric Vivas, was the winner of the “Barcelona Commerce” commercial establishment award in 2016. With the award the city recognised this shop, at number C/ Flassaders 42 and just over 10 years old, for its multibrand selection of clothes, second-hand antiques, reclaimed and recycled furniture, music produced in collaboration with a recording company and, altogether, for its commercial coherence and layout. A “different concept” is how the jury agreed to define this retail business.
And now all Barcelona’s retailers have until 14 July to put themselves forward for the 2017 award, which is designed to give recognition to local commerce in the city and foster commercial activity. It will go to the retailer who, by virtue of their commercial activity, helps to make Barcelona a city with a model retail sector. You can consult the terms and conditions, as well as register, at: “20th Barcelona Commerce Awards”.
Besides the recognition that it meant for this business, the award also represented significant support and economic endorsement for its owner: “When they heard we’d won this prize, my suppliers, who already trusted us, placed even more trust in us and gave us their full backing to carry on”, said Enric Vivas. He explained that, since then, they have offered him excellent conditions for acquiring stock and paying for it, which gives him considerable room for manoeuvre when acquiring and returning goods.
‘Loisaida’ is a name designed to evoke the New York neighbourhood of Lower East Side with a linguistic interpretation that mixes English and Spanish in Spanglish. The shop premises are part of the old Barcelona mint, known as La Seca, in the Born neighbourhood, a setting that provides some of its charm. But, according to its owner, the real “added value” is provided by the presence of quality clothes brands that “are never more important than the product itself, which is the decisive factor”. A notable feature of Enric Vivas’ multibrand selection is the presence of Catalan brands such as Pou Nou, StJor, Clementina, Torras and Rien de Rien. In fact, there are Catalan, Spanish and European brands. As he gets the shop ready for the sales, Enric is drawing up new plans for the growth of his business, an idea he hopes will soon come to fruition.
Business advice came with the prize
Apart from the award itself, the Barcelona Commerce prize includes specialist advice which the retailer can choose from four specialities: Efficiency and Sustainability, Innovation, Digital Marketing, and Social Media and Visual Marketing. Enric opted for the marketing specialities. Marketing experts then held several sessions at the shop, offering their knowledge on online positioning, communication and social media. According to Enric, the training served to confirm the communication initiatives he was already carrying out in the social media, as well as develop new ones. And he is still learning, because he keeps looking through the material they gave him.
The shop has men’s and women’s clothes in two different sections. “That way”, says Enric, “while the women are looking and buying, the men can amuse themselves”. Because, apart from shirts, polo shirts, blouses, trousers, dresses and foulards, furniture is spread around the shop with a thousand antique items for sale, ranging from cameras to alarm clocks, coffee grinders, old telephones, comics, glasses, toys, curios and chocolate! Among the curios there is a card issued to a woman by the Generalitat in 1935 so she could exercise her right to vote.
Vintage and other items
There are some items that could be described as “vintage”, although Enric says they only represent part of what there is in the shop. “They attract the interest of a lot of people but we also have other styles”. Music from the 1950s, 1960s and other periods can be heard coming out of the loudspeakers. And if the customers like it, they can buy it on CD. This is possible because of an agreement the shop still maintains with a recording company that produces them.
Most of Loisada’s customers are visitors from abroad passing through Barcelona. In the main they come from northern Europe and Scandinavia, for example, Germans, Belgians, Swedes and Norwegians. Enric says they account for a large part of his turnover. But his plans involve attracting a Barcelona clientele. Loisada invites you to continue walking round the shop while discovering a different kind of commerce with quality products. Discovery and excitement in an attractive setting.