PARAGUAY. Shopping China is forecasting a major expansion in its travel retail business in 2011, with a sales target of at least +70% growth over last year. This will come amid an expansion of stores and introduction of new brands to boost to its current strong trading activity.

Retail revenues for 2010 topped US$500 million for the first time in the history of the Paraguayan group, which operates four large shopping centres along the border with Brazil – at Pedro Juan Caballero and Salto del Guairá in Paraguay, Puerto Aguirre in Bolivia and Chuy in Uruguay.

According to Import Executive Felix Lugo, sales to its predominantly Brazilian clientele have been unaffected by the global economic downturn and are continuing their strong expansion.

“Brazil has not been very impacted by the crisis, and by the time it began to feel some effects the global situation was getting back to normal, so Shopping China has not experienced any significant downturn,” Lugo told The Moodie Report.

The strength of the Brazilian Real has further contributed to its strong results.

“Shopping China is currently the company that has the biggest turnover along the borders with Brazil, giving a boost to the development of these areas,” added Lugo.

With a strong focus on promoting world-famous brands, Shopping China leads on sales of fragrances, cosmetics and liquor. Lugo identifies the largest percentage of clients as aged 18 to 50 years old, many of whom travel to the US and Europe a few times a year.

“Since Shopping China remains an accessible option in which they can find name brands, they make our stores destinations for holidays or weekends.”

To maintain awareness among that target group, Shopping China provides a week of sales offers twice a month, and promotes this by distributing over 10,000 leaflets throughout southern Brazil and Paraguay.

Shopping China’s wide selection of branded goods in luxurious shopping centres along the borders with Brazil is proving the right mix for increasingly affluent South American consumers