Store Closings: Ralph Lauren, Cartier, Escada, & Zenga

Napoleon

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Not that I shop at any of the stores listed in the "Title", but these stores, Ralph Lauren, Cartier, Escada, & Zenga, have all closed up Argentine operations for the foreseeable future due to the inability of them to get their merchandise into the country.

I like to take clients into the Ralph Lauren store on Av. Alvear because it has a Tiffany & Co. ceiling that is amazing, but yesterday when I tried to go in on my tour, it was closed. The sign said something like-

"We are permanently closed for now."

In todays "La Razon", there is a snippet at the bottom of page 6 that translates to:

The U.S. firm Ralph Lauren initiated the closing "termporarily" of its operations in the country due to the difficulty in obtaining supplies of garments that generate official barriers to imports, measured by the companies Cartier, Escada, Ermenegildo Zegna and already had to leave Argentina. Thus, the company termporarily closed its three locations.


I cleaned it up a bit, but you get the point.

I will say that Avenida Alvear is going to look like a ghost town if this continues (and I can't see why it wouldn't). Louis Vitton, Hermes, & Mont Blanc will be next and then there will only be a few Argentine stores between a bunch of boarded up windows. I can't see how scaring off big spending tourists is going to help the economy.

:cool:
 

scottlyon

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I noticed a closed up Harrods near the shopping mall on Florida when I was there last weekend. Any idea how long that's been closed or any of the details behind it?
 

Johnny

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scottlyon said:
I noticed a closed up Harrods near the shopping mall on Florida when I was there last weekend. Any idea how long that's been closed or any of the details behind it?
Harrods has been closed for many years. Certainly since 2006 when I first arrived here.
 

solerboy

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scottlyon said:
I noticed a closed up Harrods near the shopping mall on Florida when I was there last weekend. Any idea how long that's been closed or any of the details behind it?

I think it closed in the 1990s.

I see it as a testemant to all that is wrong with Argentine business practices, when one of the most desirable retails spaces in the whole country has been sitting vacant for this amount of time.

' bit like the Sex Pistols song, Pretty Vacant
 

citygirl

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Johnny said:
Harrods has been closed for many years. Certainly since 2006 when I first arrived here.
Since 1998 I think. So 14 years. Unbelievable really to have that kind of retail space sitting open. It's kind of cool to walk by and look at it though - still has a few things sitting in there.

According to wiki (FWIW), the store became independent from Harrods UK in the mid-40s but was still allowed to use the Harrods' name. In 1997, Harrods UK sued the Arg entity for using the name and that was the end of the store here.

Lots of empty stores but can you blame them - how do you sell merchandise that you can't get in to the country? And it's not as though those stores are going to sell locally made products, given a) the cost and b) the quality issue.

I think we'll keep seeing an outflow of international businesses - as we discussed on the other thread, at least IMO, there is no reason to do business in BsAs right now.
 

Napoleon

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scottlyon said:
I noticed a closed up Harrods near the shopping mall on Florida when I was there last weekend. Any idea how long that's been closed or any of the details behind it?
I had heard that it closed ~1982 when locals were testing whether or not British windows could withstand bricks around the time that tensions flared in the South Atlantic.

There were grand plans printed in the paper in late 2010-ish showing how it was going to be renovated and re-open in grand style with top European designers having their own boutiques within the store. It was going to be a true "department" store. I think that the estimated re-opening was going to be 2013.

Within about 2 months of that article, Cristina started closing the borders to imports and you could sense that there was no way in hell that the Harrod's was going to open on time.

There is lots of chopping off of one's nose to spite one's face going on. When Argentines are saying that things are looking bad, that they're worried, and that it feels much worse than 2001, then you wonder what's going to happen.

Long term, the country still has natural resources (fertile land, lots of water, and fuel & minerals/metals to be extracted), a relatively small population (for its land mass) and a nice climate, but the feeling in the capital makes the short term seem muy complicado.

PS- You can't import clothes from other countries, but it is ok to allow prisoners out for the day to attend CFK rallies. That makes sense.

UPDATE: A list of "Harrod's is going to re-open" stories or blog posts.

March 10th, 2006: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=326062

April 18th, 2010: http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1255536-harrods-el-regreso-de-un-icono-porteno

...This was picked up by Trip Advisor the next day and posted here...

April 19th, 2010: http://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowTopic-g312741-i979-k3564912-Harrods_Really_Is_Going_To_Reopen_This_Time-Buenos_Aires_Capital_Federal_District.html
 

LostinBA

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solerboy said:
I think it closed in the 1990s.

I see it as a testemant to all that is wrong with Argentine business practices, when one of the most desirable retails spaces in the whole country has been sitting vacant for this amount of time.

' bit like the Sex Pistols song, Pretty Vacant
I remember thinking since the first time I came here in 2000, that the empty Harrods space would make a fantastic dance club. Still do.
 

Napoleon

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scottlyon said:
Thanks all and sorry Napoleon for the slight derailment of your thread.
Not horribly derailed, we're still on the topic of closed luxury stores of foreign ownership.
 
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