Comprehensive analysis of Brazil’s luxury market – challenges, real potential, future perspectives (part 2)

São Paulo

São Paulo is the most ethnically diverse city in the country and it has the Brazil’s highest GDP.  The metropolis is also considered to be the best one to do business in Latin America, and, consequently, it is not only the biggest financial center in the country, but also the business center of the Mercosur Economy. Moreover, São Paulo is expected to be the 6th richest city in the world in 2025 and it is known as the vanguard city of the greatest cultural movements that changed Brazilian behavior and habits.

The main luxury commercial centers are:

Iguatemi Faria Lima Shopping

It is considered one of the most expensive shopping areas in the world. Brands: Among the more than 30 international luxury brands there are Burberry, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss, Chanel, Gucci, Kate Spade New York, Longchamp, Marc Jacobs, Bottega Veneta, Christian Louboutin, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Ermenegildo Zegna, Max Mara, Tiffany & Co. and Swarovski.


Chanel, Iguatemi Faria, Sao Paolo


JK Iguatemi Shopping

The newest luxury mall in São Paulo counts on the presence of over 50 international brands; it contains the first Brazilian stores of brands as Dolce&Gabbana, Goyard, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Lanvin, Miu Miu, Nicole Miller, Panerai, Sephora, Tod’s, TopShop/TopMan, Van Cleef & Arpels and Zara Home. Brands: Bang & Olufsen, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Bvlgari, Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Coach, Diane von Fürstenberg, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Kate Spade New York, Longchamp, Prada and Tory Burch.

Prada store, JK Iguatemi Mall, Sao Paolo

Cidade Jardim Shopping

It is one of the most luxurious commercial centers of São Paulo. Brands: among the luxury brands there are Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani, Hermès, Longchamp, Montblanc, Rolex, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany & Co., Prada, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Emilio Pucci, Cartier, Gucci and Canali. Fendi, Omega, Balmain, Miu Miu, Elie Saab, Valentino, Tod’s, Tag Heuer and Dior.

Morumbi Shopping

Brands: among the luxury brands there are Calvin Klein, Lita Mortari, Montblanc, Hugo Boss, Oakley and Swarovski.

Oscar Freire Street

The street and its surroundings (as Haddock Lobo and Bela Cintra streets) are regarded amongst the most sophisticated places in town. Brands: There are luxury brands as Bang & Olufsen, Calvin Klein, Dior, Ermenegildo Zegna, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Marina Rinaldi, Max Mara, Montblanc, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tommy Hilfiger, Christofle and Versace.

Jardins neighborhood

It is where the famous restaurants and luxury hotels (as Tivoli Mofarrej, Porto Bay, Fasano, Emiliano, Renaissance and Unique) are located. There are also luxury automobiles dealerships (as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Bugatti and Porshe) and further luxury stores.  There are other luxury marketplaces in the city as Jardim Anália Franco, Higienópolis, Pinheiros, Moema and Alphaville.

Rio de Janeiro

More than six million people live in the city of Rio de Janeiro and an additional three million tourists visit the city annually. Although its luxury market does not have the same depth and breadth, many of the same major luxury brands that operate in São Paulo are also in Rio. The south zone that comprehends Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana neighborhoods is the fashion district, attracting citizens and tourists seeking for luxury goods and services.

The most important shopping centers are: São Conrado Fashion Mall, Rio Design Leblon, Barra Shopping and Shopping Rio Sul. The main luxury commercial centers are: Garcia D’Avilla Street and Visconde de Pirajá Avenue. Located in Ipanema District, these are the most important upscale retail streets featuring most luxury brands in Rio de Janeiro. Brands: among the luxury brands there are Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Armani, Zegna, H. Stern and Montblanc.

Leblon Shopping

Brands: Chanel, Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna, H. Stern, Emporio Armani, MAC Cosmetics, Juicy Couture, Rimowa, Carlos Miele and others.

Village Mall

With its inauguration scheduled to November of the current year, this center shows the power of the luxury market in Rio. It is the first mall in the city designed to be a luxury commercial center. The R$10 million communication plan to launch the shopping brings Nicole Kidman as the advertisement girl. Some of the most important brands in the world have already confirmed their presence in the new mall.

Brands: Burberry, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, Michael Kors, Tiffany & Co., Dior Cosmetics, Montblanc, Carolina Herrera, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Hugo Boss.


Brasília is the federal capital of the country and the seat of government. It has the 5th GDP among Latin American cities, and the 3rd in Brazil. The city’s GDP per capita – US$31.000 (approximately R$50.000) – is almost three times the Brazilian national average. Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that according to salespeople the majority of the luxury consumers are not public civil servants, politicians and authorities as it is expected; most of them are entrepreneurs from the real estate market or from the technology market. There are still owners of important law firms, building materials stores, upscale restaurants, hospitals, utilities, malls administrators and surrounding farmers. It is known that these consumers require special attention and this information can be confirmed by the way luxury brands developed their business strategies to operate in the city. Ermenegildo Zegna’s representatives have meals with its customers in order to show and sell the new collections. Moreover, in order to provide special treatment to some clients, there is a VIP space named Luxury Room in its store. In the same hand, the luxury brand Rimowa has representatives who visit their clients wherever they prefer.

The main commercial centers are Conjunto Nacional, Park Shopping, Pátio Brasil Shopping, Brasília Shopping, Boulevard Shopping and Taguatinga Shopping. The greatest luxury temple of the city is: Iguatemi Brasília Shopping. Brands: among its 170 stores there are Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Montblanc, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, Griffith, Ermenegildo Zegna, Emporio Armani, H. Stern, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger and Missoni.

Louis Vuitton, Shopping Iguatemi Mall, Brasilia – Brazil


Curitiba is the largest city in Brazil’s South Region. It is also the 8th most populous Brazilian city, receiving more than two million tourists every year. Furthermore, Curitiba is the 4th biggest economy of the country and – according to the US magazine Reader’s Digest – it is the best “Brazilian Big City” in which to live. In addition to it the city has the Brazilian highest concentration of class A households and it is the 2nd largest car manufacturer in the country. For this reason, many financial sector specialists consider it to be the best location for investors in Brazil. Although its luxury market is still considered small, it is promising: Curitiba is the Brazilian city that receives more investments towards the luxury car industry and it is already the 3rd biggest Brazilian market in this segment.

There are three important commercial centers in Curitiba: Müeller Shopping (the only luxury store in it is H. Stern), Curitiba Shopping (more popular brands) and Barigüi Mall (it has upscale brands, but not luxury brands; with the exception of H. Stern and Lacoste). The main luxury commercial centers are:

Crystal Plaza Shopping

It does not have many international luxury brands although it has a class A public. Brands: H. Stern, Montblanc, Rolex and Hugo Boss.

Patio Batel

Located in Batel’s neighborhood, where there are at least 73% of Curitiba’s class A consumers; the mall will be inaugurated in March 2013. As the luxury market is still in development in the city, this shopping is not exactly a luxury one, but it also aims to reach this select public. In this context, the center meets the quality standards required by important luxury brands that have already identified Curitiba’s market potential. Brands: Louis Vuitton, Ermenegildo Zegna, Calvin Klein, Tiffany & Co. and Hugo Boss.


Recife is one of the 65 cities with the most developed economy of emerging markets in the world. It has a strong domestic market which has little dependence on the foreign money. The city has the highest GDP per capita of the Northeast and it is one of the most promising luxury markets in Brazil. By owning the largest technology park in the country, it receives massive public and private investments which attract professionals with higher income. In the same hand, the luxury market in the North and Northeast is also growing expressively because of the luxury democratization that reaches aspirational consumers motivated by social and cultural factors as well as by the improvement of their financial situation. The main commercial centers in the city are Guararapes Shopping (the 2nd largest mall in Pernambuco), Recife Shopping Center, Boa Vista Shopping, Tacaruna Shopping Center, Plaza Shopping Casa Forte and Paço Alfândega Shopping.

Although there is not a luxury commercial center in Recife, the RioMar Shopping that will be inaugurated in October meets the international quality patterns and some luxury brands are considering the possibility of operating in the mall. • Name: RioMar Shopping. It will be the biggest commercial center of the country’s Northeast. Brands: So far, Cavendish and Spa Loccitane.

Potential cities

Other emerging luxury markets are Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Porto Alegre. The interior of the state of São Paulo is also a region to be considered once its GDP (R$300 billion per year) is around 12% greater than the GDP of Chile. There are dozens of municipalities such as Ribeirão Preto, Campinas, Piracicaba, Americana, Araraquara, Sorocaba, Jau and Rio Claro in which the luxury products and services are required. Nevertheless, these cities do not have an infrastructure capable of receiving stores of international luxury brands.

Some brands, nonetheless, have created strategies to reach this public that lives away from the luxury centers. Brands as Daslu and Burberry have developed e-commerce operation services. This approach is so important that the Rimowa’s Brazilian filial is the only one in the world authorized to have an e-commerce operation. In the same hand, Longchamp, Gucci and Christian Louboutin have sales call service. In this case, the products are sent by mail and the payment is made by credit card.

Other strategy, used by Tiffany & Co., is similar to what is being done in Brasília: to send representatives to their clients’ cities and to promote events regionally in order to create luxury experiences. Conclusion It has been said that Brazil presents business opportunities in various regions of its territory. It is imperative to notice, however, that each potential city belongs to a regional market with very distinct characteristics that should be strategically observed by new entrants. It is possible to conclude that entering into Brazilian market without observing all the features presented above is not a good strategy. To the same degree, to leave São Paulo in the direction of the other regional markets without taking notice of its peculiarities will be equally unsuccessful. Next article As seen, there are many opportunities in all luxury sectors in Brazil. The next article will highlight the luxury hotel industry.

Kéren Carvalho