Roberto Santiago is a Brazilian businessman and real estate developer. One of his most famous projects is the Manaira Shopping mall in João Pessoa, Brazil. Mr. Santiago recently discussed the state of shopping malls and retail in Brazil on Exame Abril, which is a Brazilian publication. A summary of his observations and points is provided below.
Mr. Roberto Santiago reports that shopping centers grew at a rate of 6.5% in 2015 in Brazil. This is astounding when you consider that the country is in an economic and political crisis. Profits for this sector were around $150 billion dollars according to the Brazilian Association of Shopping Centers. The Manaira Shopping mall in the state of Paraíba continues to be developed despite the ongoing economic crisis in Brazil. Mr. Santiago is the owner of The Manaira Shopping mall.
Roberto Santiago reports that the numbers from the Brazilian Association of Shopping Centers is good news for the shopping center. It proves that there is an avenue for continued growth and development. The figures also suggest that the public continues to go to and spend money at shopping malls like the Manaira Shopping in Paraiba state. Mr. Santiago reports that Brazil has over 538 major shopping destinations. There are also 30 new ones being built across the country.
The Brazilian Association of Shopping Centers and Urban Studies Group study also show how resilient malls are to fluctuations in the Brazilian economy. This sector employs over a million people. 54,000 jobs were also filled in 2015. This shows that the shopping sector provides employment to a significant number of people even in a downturn in the economy.
Roberto Santiago says that the region with the most shopping malls is the southeast followed by the northeast. Santiago says that his shopping destination in Paraíba continues to draw people by constantly reinventing itself. It builds and adds upon not only the retail sector but also on the leisure and promenade side of the shopping mall. While leisure areas and promenades may not directly generate revenue they do attract people who will later shop and buy goods at the mall.
Mr. Santiago’s Manaira Shopping mall is the biggest in terms of size in Paraíba with well over 800,000 square feet of mixed use space. It includes a gymnasium, concert hall and even a college. The shopping mall’s manager, Rafaella Barros, says that malls must constantly reinvent themselves to stay relevant and be on the rise. Otherwise, they risk losing out to more innovative malls and shopping areas.
Roberto Santiago also points out the relatively strong confidence of shopping mall managers and entrepreneurs. He says that about 40% of the managers and entrepreneurs believe they will see an increase to their business of about 5%. More than half also say that they believe their business will not be impacted by the economic downturn in Brazil.
An increase in the consumption intent is another positive factor for shopping mall owners and store managers there.