Shopping Centers Today

DEC 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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The design process involves input from historians and anthropologists. A scarf showcases a Mayan moon, a handkerchief features a field of agave Cultural statement Pineda Covalín's merchandise proudly touts Mexico's heritage By María Bird Picó P ineda Covalín has virtually stamped Mexico's vast cultural heritage on its products. Mexican entrepreneurs Cristina Pineda and Ricardo Covalín teamed up 22 years ago to create silk products, mostly handkerchiefs and ties, with colorful Mexican folkloric images on them. •e endeavor was initially conducted in conjunction with Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, to showcase pre-Hispanic cultures and to sell the merchandise in such museums as Mexico City's Museo Nacional de Antropología, Museo de Arte Moderno and Palacio de Bellas Artes. But the products' popularity among tourists and residents alike soon drew the attention of retailers, leading to their being sold also in some of Mexico's priciest hotels, airports and high-end shopping centers. Additional products were intro- duced over time, and Pineda Covalín now offers shawls, cushions, jew- elry, handbags, shoes and clothing. The company has also struck deals allowing prominent Mexican fashion designers to use Pineda Covalín fabric designs for their products. •e design process correspondingly involves input from historians and anthropologists. In the most recent collection, a Pineda Covalín scarf showcases a Mayan moon, while a handkerchief features a „eld of agave. Pineda Covalín has 37 corpo- rate-owned stores and 11 franchised ones (the latter can be found in places as disparately far a„eld as Panama City, Miami and Rome), and represen- tatives distribute the merchandise in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. •e company has plans to open a store in Qatar this year, the „rst step to further expansion in the Middle East. In Mexico Pineda Covalín operates 16 corner stores across the portfolio of El Palacio de Hierro, that country's ritzy department store chain. More- over, 12 of its stores operate at airports, and so tourists account for some 40 percent of Mexico sales, according to press reports. "Pineda Covalín successfully „lled a local market void for luxurious ac- cessories with Mexican motifs of high quality and design," said Latin Ameri- ca retail expert Jorge Lizán, managing director of New York City–based Lizan Retail Advisors (which has no business ties to Pineda Covalín). "•is suc- cess, particularly in hotels and tourist destinations, attracted the attention of international clients that wanted closer access to these products." •e chain says it is open to a variety of retail formats. In Miami, it operates a stand-alone store in the Coconut Grove neighborhood, while the Pana- ma store is located in Multiplaza, one of Panama City's top malls. Locations in Mexico include major retail streets in such cities as Playa del Carmen, San Miguel de Allende and Santiago de Querétaro. In Mexico City the shops can be found in the historic downtown and in the aŸuent Polanco neighbor- hood. Q Franchise and leasing opportunities may be directed to Teresa Meneses, head of international sales, at teresa@ pinedacovalin.com. D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 / S C T 35

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