The Mall of San Juan: Destined to Be Successful?

Next week, on March 26th, Puerto Rico will open the Mall of San Juan and add another crowning jewel in efforts to make the island a high-end destination for travelers.  The project is from a leading retail property developer Taubman Center Inc.

With anchor stores from Nordstroms and Saks Fifth Avenue, the new mall will, according to the Maria Mainville, Taubman's director of strategic communications, represent a "dominant upscale shopping destination."

Other notable retail stores slated for opening in the new mall include: Abercrombie & Fitch, Nouvelle D’Spa Boutique, Williams-Sonoma, Pandora, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Jimmy Choo, Gucci and Omega. The center will also house more affordable labels such as Chico's, Gap, Banana Republic, Boston Proper, Herve Leger, Hollister, Tommy Bahama, Vans, and House/Black Market.  It will also feature several restaurants like: Brio Tuscan Grille, Burger and Beer Joint, and Kona Grill.

Note: Many of the upscale stores listed above are the first retail locations in Puerto Rico.


First, let's put one to rest, right off the bat.  This new mall is going to be successful.  I remember back when Macys opened their store in Plaza Las Americas.  Back then, I had a personal conversation with a leading marketing professional where I shared my concern over the longevity of the store on the island. Very astutely, the professional shushed me and then assured me that Macys would do fine.  To her credit, she was right.

Remember when there were speculative rumors that Starbucks would be entering Puerto Rico?  At that time, many confidently stated that no one in Puerto Rico would be willing to pay over $5 for a cup of coffee.  I guess we all know how that turned out, they were wrong.

Finally, I wonder what Taubman Center Inc has to say about the new shopping center?  "You have to go back to one thing," said Bill Taubman, chief operating officer of Taubman Centers. "There's only like 5 square feet per capita of retail. There's almost no competition of any kind."