VMSD - July 2012 - (Page 60)

CO CHECKING OUT Interview by Steve Kaufman Martin Perez The master builder of Liverpool department stores talks about retail in Mexico and the secrets to succeeding in this thriving consumer market. The first thing everyone wants to know is: How did a Mexican retailer get the name Liverpool? The founder, Jean Baptiste Ebrard, started selling imported European apparel out of wooden boxes on the streets of Mexico City in 1847. The goods were shipped from the port of Liverpool and arrived in Mexico with PORT OF LIVERPOOL stamped on the crates. How did those wooden boxes become a department store? As the business thrived, Ebrard moved his stand to an indoor bazaar in downtown Mexico City. The first department store was built in 1936. And 165 years later, you’re thriving and expanding. What’s your secret sauce? Our slogan is, “We’re a part of your life.” The brand has an emotional connection to Mexicans. Our older clients remember when their parents took them to Liverpool to buy toys and ride the carousel in our store. They remember it as a fun family weekend activity. So when those kids were getting married, they went to Liverpool to submit their wedding gift list. Our bridal registry is the largest in Mexico. Now, as grandparents, they shop at our toy departments for their grandkids. As Liverpool’s director of store planning, you’ll be talking about your newest flagship store, in Interlomas, at IRDC in September. How does this location fulfill that brand promise? In a couple of ways. Most Latin cities are built around a central square or plaza. So we built this store with lots of common space to meet, stroll, sit, play. Also, Mexican families plan many of their activities around dining. So we have rooftop dining ringed by a terrace, gardens, trees and great views of the surrounding hills. Those cultural and social factors are really as much a part of the design as the materials and layout, aren’t they? You can’t just build a store. You have to understand human activity. It’s not only about design and construction, it’s about behavior, psychology, even art. How is the Mexican retail market growing to support Liverpool’s ambitious growth plan? Our economy is healthy. The GDP is up, inflation and unemployment are down. The middle class now accounts for about 55 percent of the population. And so a lot of our smaller cities are in great need of shopping options. We’re branching out from our three largest cities, Mexico City, Monterey and Guadalajara. And the people are welcoming us. It gives them a certain status. I go to construction sites, and the local people ask me, “What took you so long to get here?” x Globally Minded What inspires you around the world in the department store realm?  The gourmet sections in KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) in Berlin – they were a model for our gourmet food departments.  Lotte Department Store in Moscow – very big, very beautiful, great merchandise and an international gourmet food selection.  Everything in the U.S. – they invented the department store. 60 JULY 2012 | vmsd.com http://www.irdconline.com http://www.vmsd.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - July 2012

VMSD - July 2012
Contents
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
The Goods
The Wow Factor
Brewing at Starbucks
Timeless Elegance
In With the New
Showroom - Mannequins
Showroom - Props & Decs
Ad Index
Checking Out

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