It used to be that Argentines had to travel roughly 4,500 miles to South Florida or Orlando’s International Drive to indulge in deep discount retail therapy, but it seems the outlet concept has caught on fire in one BA neighborhood.
Villa Crespo has long been known as a solid, middle-class residential neighborhood, but the 2001 financial crisis left this BA barrio with several abandoned warehouses and residences. Today, according to ClariÂn, many of those buildings are being bought for upwards of US$500,000 and converted into the Buenos Aires equivalent of Sawgrass Mills.
The phenomenon began five years ago when several large BA clothing stores started opening their first outlets around Gurruchaga and Aguirre. Today there are over 60 outlets in a four-block zone and close to 100 in a 10-block region. The retail pioneers like Hunor Gobos closed their stores on Avenida Florida five years ago, opened the first VC stores and have watched sales and shoppers grow every year since.
ClariÂn says the Boom de los Outlets has really exploded over the last ten months, and the area is teeming with bargain-seeking tourists, especially Brazilians, Chileans and Uruguayans. Daniel Chain of the Buenos Aires Department of Urban Development says prices in Villa Crespo are still lower than Palermo but says they will continue rising, as Villa Crespo will be one of the prime beneficiaries of GCBA’s new infrastructure to control flooding. (Full article in Spanish)