In Midst of Recession, Sales at Fancy Merrick Park Have Been Up for 11 Straight Months

Not all shoppers in Miami-Dade are feeling the heat of the area's crappy economy. The Village of Merrick Park, the poshest shopping mall south of Bal Harbour, lately has been doing gangbusters. Sales are up 10 percent from last year, with figures rising over the past 11 months. Good to know that someone has money for all that Gucci, Gucci, Louis, Louis, Fendi, Fendi, Prada. 

As the Coral Gables mall -- boasting high-end retailers such as Gucci, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Jimmy Choo, and Etro -- comes close to its ten-year anniversary in 2012, business has never been better since the recession hit, according to Miami Today. It's also the fullest it's ever been, with 90 percent of its storefronts occupied. 
Mall sales are up almost 10% this year from last, with sales at numerous luxury stores rising by double digits, said Maria Llorca, senior marketing manager at Village of Merrick Park, owned by giant mall owner General Growth Properties.

As of May, the shopping complex has seen an increase in sales for 11 straight months.

Local shoppers remain the core of Merrick Park's customer base, but unsurprisingly part-time residents and international visitors, most likely taking advantage of the weak dollar, have also helped boost the bottom line. Affluent Brazilians particularly seem to love the place. 

With many ten-year leases coming up soon, mall management isn't concerned about losing tenants. 

"We are finding when we are talking to merchants this is the best time they've had. That's reflective of the [renewal] conversations," Maria Llorca, senior marketing manager, told Miami Today. "We don't know of anyone that is not staying."

That includes the relatively new Borders bookstore on the top floor, despite the company's recent overall financial problems. 

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Kyle Munzenrieder