Photo: Medellin Shopping Malls
Latin-Americans love malls. In my opinion the mall has replaced both the church and the plaza as a place to self-actualize and consume. It seems there are new malls opening every week attracting thousands of visitors with local as well as foreign stores & restaurants. Brands representing diverse industries see the country’s (and region as a whole) continual growth as a major opportunity, particularly when growth in their country of origin has slowed down.
Here are a few of the foreign brands mentioned in an article in Colombia’s Portafolio which are making a presence in the Colombian retail landscape.
Chili’s – The Tex-Mex bar and grill arrived in Bogota earlier this year setting up shop in a commercial building near the University district. Famous for its fajitas and burgers, Chili’s arrived in Colombia after success in Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico Peru and Venezuela.
Forever 21 – The clothing retailer which attracts young women and men (not to mention those who want to feel younger) opened it’s first shop in South America in Bogota’s Titan mall last year with a flagship store in the city’s “Zona Rosa” (an upscale commercial district) which opened this year. The retailer aims to open 5 shops in Cali, Medellin, Bucaramanga and Barranquilla within the next three years.
GAP – The San Francisco based retailer opened its first Colombian location last year. The retailer hopes to open another 15 stores within a 4 year span.
Victoria’s Secret – The largest American lingerie retailer opened a shop run by Angel’s Group (a Colombian franchise and operator) and is planning on 10 stores in the country within the next year.
Ripley – The Chilean department store (which also counts financial services and shopping mall management amongst it’s ventures) opened two locations in the country, one in Bogota the other in Bucaramanga. Colombia joins Peru and Mexico as sites for Ripley’s foreign operations.
Paris Hilton Handbags & Accessories – Paris Hilton brand handbags are available at Unicentro in Bogota. The brand has a presence in over 40 countries including many locations in Latin America. Who knew?
Dolce & Gabbana – The high end Italian clothing retailer launched it’s first store in Bogota this year (with a bar included in the location) and plans to spend over 1.5 billion Colombian pesos within the next few years launching stores in Barranquilla and Medellin.