Mexico, like most countries, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Although the number of confirmed cases in Mexico is still relatively low compared to the United States, the impact of containment measures on the economy has been severe. With just over one full month of shutdown behind us, financial institutions are already projecting 2020 GDP growth for Mexico in the range of -9% and potentially worse. Facing this outlook, retailers are scrambling just to stay in business first, and then to plan for an extended period of bleak near to mid-term consumer spending. Continue reading Mexican retail scrambling under COVID-19
Occasionally when we notice trendy trends here in Mexico, like cupcake stores or compression socks, we apply the handy formula “Los Angeles minus five years” to figure out when they must have been hot in the United States. It’s usually pretty accurate but recently we noticed a trend in Mexico that for once runs absolutely contrary to what is happening in our influential neighbor to the north. Which is this: Shopping malls are booming here, while by all accounts they are in decline as a retail format in the United States.
Our first inkling that there were more malls going up in Mexico City than really necessary was when, to our eternal consternation, the Seguro Social baseball park was unceremoniously bulldozed in 2000 to make way for a completely superfluous shopping center. Heaven knows we spent a lot more time in those bleachers than we ever did in the subsequent mall, but then again if we were a bellwether for Mexican consumer behavior the local Oxxo would be selling Chassagne-Montrachet. In the succeeding years it seemed like malls were going up on every corner, and, just like with the office buildings and hotels, we really started to wonder when they were going to reach the saturation point. Fancy office and retail space is expensive, so with all this sparkling new commercial real estate going up all over the place, are there really enough customers to provide the return on investment? Continue reading Shopping malls still thriving in Mexico