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AliExpress now has a stationary shop in Madrid, and people couldn't wait to gain access to brand new Chinese tech, waiting for up to two days to get in the door. A shopper by the name of David was the first in line, and also the first out of the store with a brand new smartphone in his hand, leaving the store to the tune of the clerks' applause.

AliExpress cart
© darksoul72 / Shutterstock.com

Those who waited so long just to get inside the store to purchase items were also hoping to get some free gifts promised on the opening day. These items included smartphones, electric skateboards, hand-free robot vaccuum-cleaners, drones and dashcams – oh – and a free coffee for waiting so long. The coffee is available for purchase in the store, which isn't anything new if you have shopped at a Waitrose supermarket in the UK. 

Only the first 500 of the over 3,000 customers who camped out for the big opening received a free gift.

European Imaginings

When AliExpress announced the plans to open a store in Madrid, which is their first in Europe, many imagined the store would be set up much like a high-street Chinese bazaar, reported thinkspain.com, which are present in most towns and sell everything from household and DIY implements to picture frames or cheap clothes at low prices. However, AliExpress Plaza turned out to be more like a super-modern gallery in the style of the very famous Apple stores.

The Look

Items are spread out on long, wide tables along a corridor with simple stands showcasing smartphones and tablets by the likes of Huawei, Xiaomi, Samsung and Apple. Apple actually has a store just metres away from AliExpress Plaza in Madrid – new competition near their store in Spain's capitol city.

In the central part of the store, AliExpress Plaza displays electric skateboards, drones, robot vaccuum-cleaners, coffee machines and other electronics, as well as including a video gaming zone with a sofa opposite a huge flat screen so customers can try out new games.  

New Retail

AliExpress says its goal is to introduce Europe to what it calls "new retail", or said in a different way, a store that blends traditional offline shopping with all the advantages of online shopping. That includes QR codes which direct customers right to specifics on its website.

The store boasts over 1,000 products by more than 60 manufacturers. Some of these are Spanish, like Cecotec, which are displayed in a 760 sq. metre store. Europeans will get to see many products that are relatively unknown internationally (like Ugreen and Oppo Reno). 

This store opening is further proof that Chinese e-commerce and stationary – new retail – is coming.