Jan 25, 2013
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JK Iguatemi, the new temple of luxury in Brazil

Jan 25, 2013

With 17 shopping malls (including five under construction) located in nine Brazilian cities, the Iguatemi group is now the leader in the development of luxury fashion shopping centers in Brazil. After creating the first shopping center in 1966 in Sao Paulo, Iguatemi is continuing its expansion with the new JK center, named after the former Brazilian president, Juscelino Kubitschek. The concept is a 60,000-square-meter space on four floors, housing 200 luxury shops, ready-to-wear labels, high-tech or beauty specialty stores and restaurants.

One of Sao Paulo’s new jewels

The JK Iguatemi is located in the city’s financial center and new neighborhood of Olympia, close to Sao Paulo’s park and sports facility, the Parque do Povo. In just a few months, the mall has become the new crown jewel of shopping. “Sao Paulo is partly overrun with traffic,” said Kelly Cordes, director of group communications. “JK Iguatemi looks like an leisure center you can get to by car and where you can spend part of the day or evening. It’s like what Carlos Jereissati Filho said, the president of Iguatemi, that shopping and entertainment in Sao Paulo are a little like the beaches in Rio. And everyone wants to be there.” So to entertain 20,000 people every day at JK (7.2 million customers are expected this year), the focus had to be on the big picture.

Following Burberry, Christian Louboutin, Hugo Boss, Gucci, Prada, Lacoste and Bottega Veneta, a dozen more luxury brands have chosen JK Sao Paulo to open their first store in Latin America, including Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Goyard, Lanvin, Tod's and Miu-Miu. Chanel, which already had a presence in Brazil, also opened up shop there. All totaled, there are nearly forty international luxury brands (including jewelry). “And all the brands are taking advantage of the situation to offer something different to their customers,” said Kelly Cordes. “Everything from the design of shops, sometimes completely original like Burberry’s floor for children only, to special services, such as Goyard’s customization workshop. The idea is to innovate.”

A shopping center that looks like a luxury hotel

If luxury occupies the entire first floor of the mall, the major ready-to-wear brands have found their place on the upper levels.

After Zara, which already operated in Brazil, next up was British brand Topshop, whose JK opening is its first store in Latin America. Less numerous are Brazilian brands such as Sergio K, Daslu, Osklen, Noir, Bobo or John John, which have acquired a terrific showcase alongside the world’s most prestigious international brands.

And since the state of Sao Paulo alone is home to 20,000 millionaires, every detail was planned to satisfy rich Brazilian customers addicted to shopping. Amenities include Lounge One, a space reserved for VIP guests or those with a three-month disposable income of 5,000 Brazilian reals (about 2,000 euros). There are meeting rooms, a nursery, and personal shoppers and shopping bag porters available at the service concierge. Everything has been designed according to the standards of a luxury hotel. Rounding out the JK Iguatemi program are other entertainment attractions such as the Cinepolis, a cinema with 4D theaters, a VIP lounge furnished with large armchairs and serving food, a patio, an auditorium, restaurants and tearooms (including Ladurée).

JK Iguatemi is now a new showcase of luxury in Sao Paulo, offering a huge sales floor and stunning design across all levels and continuous monitoring by a horde of police. This type of concept will likely multiply in a city where 75% of all luxury sales in Brazil are transacted and where the growth rate is estimated at 35% in the coming years.

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