In recent months, three new stores in Costa Rica have opened their doors to the stylish and tragically hip. Express, Forever 21 and Stradivarius are among the new shopping options for trendy Ticas and fashion-conscious expats looking to look their best with the latest in clothing and accessories.
Although all three stores offer clothes and accessories for both men and women, in Costa Rica their strong market is concentrated on stylish young women who are spending more and more of their income in fashion. All three stores are known global brands, and their arrival in Costa Rica is being closely monitored by giants of the retail industry who are pleased by the growing wave of consumerism in our country.
The grand opening in Costa Rica of this iconic and successful fashion chain from Los Angeles added to its controversy. The first Forever 21 opened in the ritzy Multiplaza Escazu mall months ago, and it was a tremendous success. The opening of their second retail store, however, made headlines for a different reason.
The second Forever 21 location opened in the new Lincoln Plaza mall, located in the middle-class enclave of Moravia, in the eastern outskirts of suburban San Jose. The neighborhood surrounding Lincoln Plaza has experienced skyrocketing affluence in recent years, but the lion’s share of the shoppers’ market is concentrated on the middle and working-class communities beyond.
A strong opening was expected at the new Forever 21 in Costa Rica, but what the L.A. chain did not expect was that a rumor would turn into a mob and an uncomfortable situation. About 500 people lined up outside from the night before, hoping to be one of the lucky 300 rumored to get a gift card valued at $300.
On a cool Friday night, hopeful shoppers arrived with blankets and thermos filled with warm coffee. The weather turned for the worse and it rained on those lured by the promise of a Forever 21 gift card. In reality, most who lined up outside for hours were not interested in getting stylish miniskirts and tight t-shirts for themselves and their families. Most planned to use the run up the gift card and resell the clothes to several buyers at profit.
One of those hopefuls was 21-year old Haybel Hay, who fits the demographic of the store. She arrived at 3:00 a.m. with her baby daughter, only to be disappointed when all she got was a pair of earrings. She told daily tabloid La Teja that:
“I left with a pair of earrings that I can buy anywhere else for 100 colones (about $0.25 cents). It’s disrespectful that these gringos come here to make fun of Ticos.”
In the end, those who endured the long lines outside of Forever 21 at Lincoln Plaza left with a t-shirt, a makeup compact and the seemingly cheap earrings described above. The origin of the rumor about the $300 gift card could not be ascertained. This incident adds to other controversy related to Forever 21, which includes alleged sweatshops and taking advantage of illegal immigrant workers in Southern California.
This is one of the brands of the Inditex group from Spain, a major clothing and fashion global player. According to entertainment site ContactoCR, the Stradivarius store in Multiplaza Escazu has a proven collection of garments that evoke grunge rock fashions from the 1990s, but with a very stylish urban sensibility that will surely appeal to young women in Costa Rica.
This United States clothing retailer, which was part of Limited Brands, opened up a second location in Multiplaza Escazu. The first Express in Costa Rica opened in Lincoln Plaza, and it has been very successful. For the inauguration of is second store in Costa Rica, CEO Michael Weiss actually showed up at Multiplaza and announced that he is ready to open more stores in Latin America. The signature Express style is designed in New York, and it is preferred by young people who enjoy modern takes on classic designs.
Article by Costa Rica Star