Rachel Gamarra explains that while the world’s economies fall into recession, Peru’s is racing ahead as Peruvians increased their spending by a huge 19% in 2008. With the country’s economy only growing at about 9% and wages remaining stable, where is this money coming from?
While the first world is shrinking, the developing world is expanding and that includes Peru. Consumerism is on the rise and this holiday shopping season is sure to be a clear indication of those increased percentages.
Shopping centers and retail stores are popping up all over the country both big and small. Lima’s infamous Mesa Redonda gallery is expected to pull in $600 Million US Dollars this Christmas season alone, a hundred million more than last season’s sales.
So what is driving all this consumerism in Peru?
The Peruvian economy is increasing, foreign investment is on the rise, GDP and exports are growing, however the average Peruvian wage is bucking the growth spurt and remaining stagnant.
The common Peruvian is depending more and more on plastic and retailers are encouraging its use by making the acquisition of retail credit as easy as pie.
The biggest malls and supermarkets aren’t found in exclusive districts such San Isidro, Miraflores, or La Molina, but rather in low income a.k.a. “C-Class” districts such as Los Olivos and the Cono Norte of Lima. Retailers in Peru specifically target the C-Class market, a socio-economic group that averages $200 USD or less per month.
Imagine your local supermarket offering you store credit (for us Americans this only exists with Wal-Mart.) Sounds odd, why buy groceries with a grocery store credit card? In Peru this is common practice with Metro Supermarkets, a part of the Wong (now Chilean Cencosud) family.
EZ-CREDIT is the name of the game and for Peruvians that cannot prove formal income, they can always provide proof of receipt of 6 foreign money transmittances to get their Metro Supermarket Card or Tarjeta Metro.