Panama retail market is a favorite in Central America. The economy of Panama grew at 10.8% in the first half of 2011, according to the Ministry of Economics and Finances. GDP for 2010 was estimated at $26.7 billion. The country’s GDP growth is among Latin America’s highest and has been fed by a construction boom generated from the canal’s expansion and by public spending.The World Bank ranks Panama number 61 in the world in its Doing Business rankings, substantially below Latin America’s average (95), and AT Kerney’s GRDI report puts it at 27. Panama retail market of 3.5 million people, although small in relative terms, is positioned geographically as a key retail location.
The country has been undergoing a real estate and infrastructure boom, which has injected liquidity into the market and is spurring increased retail activity. Shopping center presence in Panama is strong. Panama retail mix in the malls is abundant and sophisticated and features international retailers ranging from basic to luxury such as Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Cartier, Hermes, Swarovki, Carolina Herrera, Zara Payless, La Senza, Calvin Klein, Speedo, Perry Ellis, Guess, Quicksilver, Oscar de La Renta, Nautica, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, and others. Recent market entries include Gap and Banana Republic, which opened stores at Albrook Mall in Panama City in February, 2011.
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