Jockey Plaza

19 Jul

Lima, Peru

Quick Review

For Limenans, Jockey is the mall in Lima, Peru. But for visiting North Americans like me, Jockey Plaza is everything we’d probably never expect to find in a developing country.

The original design of Jockey Plaza was inspired by American malls of the 70s and 80s—with department stores at opposite ends, and two enclosed levels of stores in-between, plus a food court. This part of the mall is now called Nave Central.

But with its two anchor stores, Chilean-based Ripley and Chilean-based Saga Falabella, both establishing A-quality stores at the mall, the stores in-between represented international retailers and higher-end local retailers, like Tommy Hilfiger (a flagship), local designers Adolpho Dominquez and Joaqim Miro, local silver artist Ilaria, and American food outlets like Starbucks, KFC, and Pizza Hut. As is typical for most Peruvian malls, Jockey Plaza also contained a super market (actually, a Plaza hypermarket, where consumers can buy big screen TVs and have their eyes examined and order prescription glasses, while picking up milk and bread), and a super-sized Ace hardware. To keep shoppers around, the mall also includes ,an entertainment wing with several American restaurants (Hard Rock, Friday’s), an arcade, and a multiplex cinema. . Not surprisingly, Jockey Plaza quickly dominated the market.

But as other malls started to appear and contained many of the same stores as Jockey Plaza, Jockey decided to ensure its dominance with an expansion that more than doubles its size and, at the same time, brought many international and luxury retailers to the market. The second major section—a mall in itself—takes its design from California malls, and is outdoors (not a problem given the relatively mild, dry climate). Among its stores in this section called The Boulevard are tourist-oriented the local Kuna alpaca clothing and international jeweler, H Stern; international fashion retailers Zara, Versace, Salvador Ferragamo, Nike, H&M, Forever 21, Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein (among others), and a restaurant area with high-end restaurants (most feature reasonable lunch time specials).

To further secure its market dominance, however, Jockey Plaza expanded twice more. In the first, it added local department store Oeschle and several stores, along with a parking deck. Additional parking, a Paris department store (the fourth major anchor) and a Crate & Barrel home store from the US (its first location in Latin America) complete the latest addition, which is in the process of opening.

A second hypermarket and a Sodimac Home Center (a South American Home Depot, Lowe’s or Rona), a few car showrooms, and a medical center (Jockey Salud) complete the mall.

The mall has a book store, CD store, and musical instrument store; classes of stores that are in short supply in most North American malls.

Most tourists visit Larcomar in Miraflores, which is more of a festival-oriented tourist center than a mall intended for real people. But if you’re interested in seeing how the locals shop—and, for the shopaholics out there—interested in doing a bit of shopping yourself, Jockey Plaza is a must. Catch a movie, relax with a coffee or churro, and enjoy a meal while you visit. Heck, spend the whole day.

However, note that because most of the retailers are global and many of the local stores sell global brands, prices on many items will be comparable to home (regardless of where home is). Furthermore, the experience of driving on the Javier Prado roadway to the mall provides another insight into the local culture.

Mall at a Glance

Anchors: Department stores: Oeschle, Paris, Ripley, Saga Falabella. Hypermarkets: Plaza Vea, Tottus. Home improvement: Sodimac Home Center

International chains: Zara, Zara Home, Sfera, Plantanitos Shoes, Payless Shoes, Rosen (mattresses), RadioShack (now Radio Shack / Coolbox, because the US chain went bankrupt), Mango and Mango Hombre, H&M, H Stern, Forever 21, Esprit, Crate & Barrel, Adidas,

Variety of merchandise: Superb, exceeds a North American mall. Includes everything from milk and toothpaste to diamond necklaces; business suits and cars to plywood, and mobile phone contracts and computers to books and CDs. Few malls have such a wide range and deep selection in each category.

Prices range from the middle to upper ranges.

Special notes:

  • The name Jockey Plaza admittedly doesn’t sound  Spanish. The name comes from its next-door neighbor: the Jockey Club del Peru. The land is Jockey Club land (though I am not sure if they still own the land or not).
  • Traffic around the mall is a nightmare, caused partly by the large number of people who visit the mall and partly by road design nearby that’s almost guaranteed to generate congestion.
  • Prices: global products have global prices; so don’t expect super bargains. Local products available in some of the local stores offer more attractive prices. For food: in the hypermarkets, expect reasonable prices on local foods and higher-than-home prices on many international products. Fast food places in the food court are lower than in North America. Restaurant prices are similar to those in North America.

Food court: Features a variety of Peruvian and international fast food options, in a bright environment with a soaring ceiling (several stories). Options include Bembo’s (top hamburger chain in Peru), KFC, Pizza Hut, China Wok and, in the hallway linking the food court to the mall, a few dessert choices.

But note–the food court was in the midst of a renovation when I visited so the selection might change (my guess is it will increase). Even though the food court looks larger, that could be a factor of the significantly higher ceiling. The old food court was filled with tables and never had enough for everyone who wanted to use them, and I have a feeling that this situation will not improve in the remodeled food court.

Wikipedia page:

Website: (Spanish only) http://www.jockey-plaza.com.pe

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