Shopping Centers Today International

FEB 2016

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

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Page 25 of 59

In July the retailer opened at Pem- broke Lakes Mall, in the southeast Florida city of Pembroke Pines. Later that month Casa Febus also opened a 4,500-square-foot store in Naples, Fla., at Coastland Center Mall. And in October the company opened two stores in Al- tamonte Mall, in the central Florida city of Altamonte Springs: a larger unit mea- suring 5,000 square feet, and a smaller, "teaser" store measuring 1,800 square F retAILerS wISh tO PrOSPer, they must follow their customers. this is what Casa Febus, a home- decor and furniture chain based in Puerto rico, did by opening its first mainland U.S. store last summer. the mainland is where many of Casa Febus' customers happened to be when the retailer began selling online four years ago ó the Sunshine State in particular. "we started noticing that many of the online purchases were made from Florida," said Victor Febus, the retailer's president. "Our on- line sales have been doubling ev- ery year, with 70 percent coming from the U.S. mainland." feet, near the food court. Ultimately, Casa Febus seeks to have at least 10 stores operating on the U.S. mainland. Casa Febus is one several chains seek- ing to escape Puerto rico's nearly decade long recession and trailing a stream of people into exile from the island. Cen- tral and South Florida are a magnet for many of the estimated 50,000 annual emigrants from Puerto rico in recent years. Nearly one-quarter of Florida's nearly 20 million people are of hispanic background, a bit higher than the corre- sponding proportion within the overall U.S. population (about 17 percent), ac- cording to U.S. Census data. Casa Febus dates to the 1960s, when emilio Febus (Victor's grandfather) opened Almacenes Andino, a store in the Bayamón downtown that sold mainly lace, buttons and materials for I Leaving home Puerto rico's home-furnishings retailer casa febus oPens in the u.s. By María Bird Picó r e t a I l I n g t o d a y 26 S C t / f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 6

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