Louis Vuitton and Saks Fifth Avenue open in Kazakhstan in August

Esentai Park Complex, Almaty, Kazakhstan

This August will see the opening of the mall as part of Esentai Park, a grand mix-used development of approximately 8.7 ha in Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan. Esentai Park includes seven buildings: the Esentai Tower and Ballroom, three Residential Towers, a Fitness Center and a Shopping Mall, all together, reaching up to a construction area of 368,000 sqm.

The Tower building, with its height of 162 m and a construction area of 87,000 sqm is the tallest building in Almaty, incorporating several functions such as parking, A Class offices, a 215 room five star hotel managed by JW Marriott (scheduled April 2013), a luxury SPA and executive service apartments (managed by Mariott), all automated by a unique smart building system.

Esentai Park also includes a 34,900-square-meter Shopping Mall.  Like the other buildings in Esentai Park the Shopping Mall establishes a new standard for facilities of this type in the historic city. Spread over 4 floors, Esentai Park Mall will feature a Saks Fifth Avenue department store operated in franchising by local watches and jewellery company Viled Fashion, the largest retailer of luxury jewelry and watches in Kazakhstan. The Saks Fifth Avenue Department store in Almaty will cover a total surface of 90.000 sqf and will feature shop in shops and corner of major international luxury brands.

Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic, is the ninth largest country in the world, owing most of its wealthy to oil and industry. The country has not been proof from the international economic crisis and the economy has slowed down in the past 4 years and so did the buying power of the wealthy. According to CPP, the potential of Kazakhstan’s luxury market remains limited which does not justify the oversized surfaces which some brands opted for.

The high level of corruption and authoritarian presidential regime have been keeping away direct international investments in the country. Several grand projects such as the ”Las Vegas” of Kazakhstan have been put on hold.

Among the major international luxury brands to open mono-brand stores at Esentai Park Mall (Kazakhstan) are Louis Vuitton (700 sqm), Christian Dior (300 sqm) and Gucci (300 sqm). Despite market rumours Prada and Chanel have not confirmed their presence with mono-brand stores at Esentai Park Almaty.