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Metro Medellin to Host Colombia’s Biggest Shopping Mall: Viva-Exito

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Medellin-based chain retailer Grupo Exito announced November 12 that it will build Colombia’s biggest shopping mall – not in Bogota, but rather in the Medellin suburb of Envigado.

The COP$600 billion (US$195 million), 300,000-square-meters “Viva” mall will host 240 other retailers in addition to an Exito supermarket, which combines a food market, clothing, electronics and kitchen items.

The new “Viva” mall – due for opening in second-half 2018 -- will feature first-in-Medellin retailers including Abercrombrie, Cowboy, Decathlon, H&M, Kids Republic, Lec Lee and Sargento Mayor, according to Exito.

Other major retail brands at the new mall will include American Eagle, Arturo Calle, Bon Bonite, Bosi Cat, Cazuelas Doña Susana, Cosmos, Cromantic, DistriHogar, El Deportista, Estivo, Estra, Flora, Forever 21, Fruta Fresca, Fuxiomania, Gef, Hush Puppies, Il Forno, Imusa, Ktronix, La Riviera, Librería Nacional, Loccitane, Louis Barton, Mac, Merrel, Mis Carnes, MNG, Nauty blue, NYX Maquillaje, Off Corss, Pepe Ganga, Polito, Ragged Stop, Santa Parrilla, Sport LineSr. Wok, Tania,Tennis, Tienda Flora, Tous, Vanessa, Yoyo and others, according to the company.

Building architecture will meet the latest “LEED” environmental standards, according to the company.

Exito’s real-estate development division – which includes “Viva” malls – now boasts of 5,000 retail outlets and more than 1,200 national and international corporate retailers, according to the company.

Grupo Exito is on the march in Latin America, having recently acquired big chain retailer Grupo Pão de Açúcar in Brazil, Grupo Disco in Uruguay and the Libertad retail group in Argentina.

The very first "Exito" market -- a tiny store -- debuted in downtown Medellin in 1949, founded by Gustavo Toro Quintero, who in 1999 sold an initial 25% stake in his ever-growing chain of stores to France-based retailer Casino. Casino became the major shareholder of Almacenes Exito in 2007.

Five decades ago, the initial competition to "Exito" (which translates from Spanish to "Success") in Medellin was U.S.-based Sears. 

An oft-repeated local joke in Medellin was that "Sears is bound to be a 'Success'" -- which in fact happened when the only Sears store in Medellin eventually was bought-out -- and converted to an "Exito" store.

Read 8062 times Last modified on Last modified on November 16 2015

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Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

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