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AliExpress opens first European store and Madrid goes mad
27 August 2019 @ 12:05

HUNDREDS of shoppers spent up to two nights camped outside the first-ever European branch of Chinese technology giant AliExpress before it opened yesterday (Sunday) morning in Madrid, in a bid to be first through the door to grab their latest-generation technology.

David, who had been sleeping on the floor outside the shop since Friday afternoon, was the first to get in when it opened at noon yesterday and the first to leave with a state-of-the-art Smartphone in his hand, to a backing track of applause from staff.

Those who had spent 48 hours camping outside AliExpress Plaza were hoping to get their hands on the free gifts promised on the opening day, which included Smartphones, electric skateboards, hands-free robot vaccuum-cleaners, drones, and dashcams.

The dedicated shoppers also got a much-needed free coffee, known as an AliExpresso and which all customers can now get from a machine in store, in the style of Waitrose supermarkets in the UK.

Whilst over 3,000 customers had camped for up to two days in the Intu Xanadú shopping centre, only the first 500 were given free gifts, hence the furore involved ahead of yesterday's opening.

Most of those who had heard of AliExpress' planned opening in Madrid – a first for Spain and for the continent of Europe – imagined it to be a bit like a high-street Chinese bazaar, which are present in most towns and sell everything from household and DIY implements to picture frames, pet accessories and cheap clothes and handbags, all at low prices, and which have replaced the old 100-peseta or 'Todo a 100' shops across the country.

But AliExpress Plaza turned out to be more of an ultra-modern gallery in the style of the globally-famous Apple stores.



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