The Mall or Main Street? Santa Fe or Shopping? Callao or Centro Comercial ? These are the questions posed in a detailed analysis of the many options available to investors looking to open a retail business in Buenos Aires.
While malls trump Main Street 70/30 in countries like the US, having a storefront on a prominent avenue or pedestrian street is more important in Southern Cone countries like Argentina and Brazil. Street locations in Buenos Aires account for 82% of retail sales compared to 18% for los shoppings.
Calle Florida in BA’s Microcentro is the second-most expensive retail promenade in Latin America after Sao Paulo’s Rua Oscar Freire. Even though consumer spending is down and vacancies are rising, prime retail space rents for $89 per square meter on Florida Street.
Other high traffic areas in Capital Federal are considerably more affordable including the intersections of Santa Fe and Callao (US$64 per m2), Cabildo and Juramento in Belgrano (US$60), Santa Fe and Pueyrredon in Barrio Norte ($US49) and Riavadavia and Carabobo in Flores (US$38).
Villa Crespo is another area that has seen a tremendous surge in demand and a triple-digit increase in prices since 2009, as over 100 clothing brands have opened retail outlets in the popular neighborhood. Avenida Niceto Vega in Palermo Hollywood is another emerging stretch given its prime location between the audiovisual district and Avenida Cordoba. Both areas are attracting more service-oriented franchises and fast food restaurants.
And where should you not open a business in BA right now? Recoleta and Puerto Madero. The former, because owners are still asking top dollar (US$140 per m2) along Alvear, even though vacancies are rising thanks to the luxury brands exodus. The latter because of the half-empty high-rises and low population density. (Full Story in Spanish)
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