Ale-Hop


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Original finds at a good price

Translated by Daniela Baker — 4 years ago

Original text by Maika Cano Martínez

Ale-Hop is a chain of shops selling gift items, decorations, accessories and other things, which I will elaborate on later, and stands out for its originality, good prices and because it saves you the headache of thinking what to buy when it comes to presents. At the moment, they have more than 80 shops in Spain and Portugal and they are going to expand further thanks to its success.

Even those who don't know the name of the shop, often recognise it and refer to it as 'the shop with the cow in the door', or 'the cow shop'. The defining colours of this chain are black and white, and, there is a cow in the entrance to every one of their shops, which is a very good marketing strategy, as this positioning easily gets it into the mind of the customer, and from then on they recognise the shop whenever they pass it although they don't know its actual name.

The other day I was in Benidorm and there was no cow in the entrance (this was the first time I had seen such a thing) because this store is only small, but what they have instead done is make a hole in the wall of the main facade, and have the cow inside the shop with its head sticking out through the gap. Ah, and when it was raining they put an umbrella over the cow, which is in itself an advertisement for the items they sell; this strategy reminded me of the furniture and decoration shop La Oca ('the goose'), which had a large goose in the door and according to the time of year they would put a Santa Claus hat on it, dress it up like a Nazarene, put a rubber ring around it... something original and eye-catching, as long as it's not too overdone.

Original finds at a good price

Although I initially encountered Ale-Hop in Benidorm almost 10 years ago, as I have gone on holiday there several times, we now have one very close to the centre of Murcia, and since opening its doors here in the city, it has been so successful that following the opening of the one of Trapería street, another has opened on Gran Vía. I have also been to the Ale-Hop which is in front of the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, and I hope to find this shop in every city I visit.

Original finds at a good price

Original finds at a good price

Also, aside from the characteristics of its black and white logo and the cow, the shop window is always vibrant and with eye-catching articles displayed, which makes you want to go inside and buy the items. All of the shops have the same products, some with a greater or lesser variety, but they're generally in sync with one another.

Original finds at a good price

The items you can buy in this shop are fun, original, cheap, useful for day-to-day life, of average quality and huge variety. Whenever I go past the shop I think about going in just to see if there's 'anything new' in there; what I'm trying to say is that through this store, I have ended up discovering all sorts of things I never knew existed before seeing them in Ale-Hop, which can help solve small problems you encounter in day-to-day life.

The types of items which you can buy in Ale-Hop are as follows:

  • Tablet and smartphone accessories, etc: from standard plain cases and hard shells, to special pens which can be used to write on touch screens, and gloves which allow you to use your touch screen without having to take them off. I tried on the gloves and they do work, and my friend from Taiwan bought some too, although we find it's less annoying to simply take off the gloves when using your smartphone, but I have been in Strasbourg and other very cold cities, and I can tell you it's quite the invention. I have one of the items Ale-Hop sell for electronic devices, which is a kind of tray for a laptop which makes it take longer to get hot, and it comes with a mini lamp and a hole to put your drink in, and with a lovely background - mine has the New York skyline.
  • Original finds at a good price

    Original finds at a good price

  • Accessories and things for winter: Hot water bottles (great designs available when compared to the typical plaid patterns); very soft stuffed animals which serve to carry a rolled up blanket for when your baby is cold (or yourself, I considered buying it as it is very cute); bathrobes and dressing gowns; slippers, from the standard designs, to animal claws amongst other things; shawls and scarves...
  • Original finds at a good price

    Original finds at a good price

  • Make-up: Nail polish, eyeshadow, lipstick, lipgloss, etc; I would not buy this type of cheap makeup but it seems quite popular.
  • Original finds at a good price

  • Fashion accessories: sunglasses, joke glasses (hippy, birthday, with numbers... those sorts of styles... ), watches, necklaces, phone cases, bracelets, scarves, rings, gloves, umbrellas, raincoats, hats, etc.
  • Original finds at a good price

    Original finds at a good price

  • Stationary: pens, notebooks in varying sizes and designs, marker pens, rubber erasers, etc. I own two notebooks from here and a pen which was gifted to me and I love it. My friend from Taiwan whom I spoke about in another post, bought some notebooks covered in photos of the world's main cities, to give them as a souvenir, as if she had bought them in Paris or England, hahaha, although if you're in a rush and aren't able to buy souvenirs to gift to people, these can be a lifesaver!
  • Original finds at a good price

  • Things for relaxing and comfort: vibrating travel pillows, massaging tools, gadgets to tickle your head, a water dispenser to refresh yourself when at the beach, etc.
  • Original finds at a good price

  • Things to decorate the house: beautiful designed boxes, toilet paper covered in an original print (such as tickets), dolls used to store empty bags, tins, a shoe-shaped phone, photo frames, lamps, clocks, etc.
  • Things for kids: Stuffed white animals which come with felt-tip markers and can be washed and repainted, yoyos, whistles, slingshots, skipping ropes, piggy banks, cushions in the shape of an egg or a monster, etc.
  • Original finds at a good price

  • The famous selfie stick, which you can use with your smartphone in order to take a self portrait with your friends or of scenery from further away, without having to ask someone to take it.
  • Original finds at a good price

  • And there is much, much more...it's better if you discover it yourself!

Regarding the prices, I have already mentioned to you that it's cheap, but to give you a better idea, the notebooks are 2 euros, hot water bottles are 5 euros, laptop trays are 15 euros, pens made from special materials to be used with touchscreens are 3 euros, a cuddly toy incorporated in with a blanket is 15 euros, pens in the shape of a lipstick tube cost 1 euro, etc.

Another good thing about Ale-Hop (less so for those who work there), is the opening hours. They are open every day (including Sundays), except for some of the national holidays, and they close at 10 at night.

Don't forget to take a look in the shop if you find yourself looking to buy some sort of present, or if you want to check out the carnival and party accessories, etc, as the staff do not approach you or overwhelm you or anything, they only help you out if you ask, and you have complete freedom to explore the store, touch the objects, etc. Plus, you can go to their website, and have a nose about to see what they have, check the prices and reference codes, although at the moment you are unable to buy their stuff online.

Original finds at a good price

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