Azerbaijan’s First Luxury Mall
With booming consumer demand for luxury goods and the world’s second fastest-growing economy, Azerbaijan is a ripe new market for premium brands – a factor that has led to the development of the country’s first luxury shopping mall, scheduled to open in spring 2014.
The Port Baku Mall was designed by British architects Broadway Malayan and will be managed by Azerbaijan-based Pasha Construction. It will form part of a larger mixed-use development in the capital city of Baku, alongside luxury residential apartments, office buildings and leisure facilities.
The mall will be situated on Neftchilar Avenue – currently the city’s prime retail district – and will double the space available for prestigious retailers. Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Burberry, Chloe and Stella McCartney are among the luxury fashion brands to have shown early commitment to the project.
“The luxury market is already well-established in Baku and has shown exceptional growth over the last few years as a solid local market,” says Ian Ferguson, director of shopping centres for Pasha Construction. He believes this rise has been bolstered by affluent shoppers visiting from neighbouring countries such as Russia, Georgia and Iran.
For more on the changing shape of mall retailing, including their role as multi-faceted leisure and residential hubs, see Mall Worlds in Stylus’ industry trend Future of the Store (publishing October 18). See also Luxury Brand Temples for more on luxury store concepts and how leading brands are tailoring theirs to emerging markets.