Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Latin America retail: Heading for the mall

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on March 9, 2011

by The Economist Intelligence Unit, March 9th, 2011.

Brazilians enjoy some of the finest weather in the world, but it comes to shopping, they are increasingly choosing to go indoors. Other Latin Americans are joining them.

Shopping malls have become a common feature of the landscape in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other large cities, and now they are spreading to inner parts of Brazil. The same trend can be observed in other Latin American countries, too. Economic growth and easier credit has put more money in the wallets of Argentineans, Peruvians and Chileans alike, and shopping malls have been among the main beneficiaries of their eagerness to consume.

Sales in Argentina’s shopping malls were 43.7% up in the twelve months to the end of December, according to CASC, a trade association. In Brazil, sales finished 2010 up by 17%, topping R$87bn (US$53bn), said ABRASCE, the Brazilian counterpart to CASC. These numbers are higher than the overall growth in retail sales, which was estimated by the Economist Intelligence Unit to have reached in 11.3% in Argentina and 8.5% in Brazil in 2010.

In Argentina, this reflects a belated boom after what has been a decade of comparatively slow growth. In the decade from 2000 to 2010, the number of malls in the country rose from 51 to 94. But those figures disguise a recent surge in interest, which has seen the Argentinian media flooded with reports about new projects. These include curiosities like the self-proclaimed southernmost shopping mall in the world, which will be built in Usuahia, in Terra del Fuego region. (continue reading… )

 

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