IADS Exclusive: Chile, the land of omnichannel

IADS Exclusive October 2023 Selvane Mohandas du Ménil

Following the IADS CEO meeting in Mexico City last May, the IADS had the opportunity to travel to Chile to visit Paris Department Stores’ and Falabella’s flagships, located respectively in the Alto Las Condes center and in the Parque Arauco mall.

Chile is considered one of South America’s most prosperous nations, in terms of competitiveness and income per capita. Before the pandemic, with consistent GDP growth of around 3% to 4% annually, the country enjoyed economic diversification across sectors like mining, agriculture, manufacturing, services and tourism. The nation's stable institutions, market-oriented policies, extensive trade agreements, and high global competitiveness rankings attracted foreign investment. 

The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on Chile, affecting various aspects of society, the economy, and public health. The country witnessed a significant number of confirmed cases and fatalities, placing immense strain on the healthcare system. To curb the spread of the virus, strict measures such as lockdowns, travel restrictions, and social distancing were implemented. Being one of the leading countries in terms of vaccinating its population as early as December 2020, combined with the massive adoption of digital technologies and telecommuting, Chile was able to weather the crisis earlier than other countries, and this showed in Falabella’s numbers, then a member of IADS. While GDP shrank by -5.8% in 2020, it grew +23% in 2021, exceeding the previous record of 2018. While normalization took place in 2022, this led to an extraordinary expansion for retailers, both in nominal and in terms of e-commerce growth, a channel already well implemented in the country.

Falabella opened in great fanfare its newest flagship store in November 2021 (our report here) and it was hailed as a perfect integration of omnichannel practices into a physical store. The IADS took the opportunity of a visit to the region to go and review the store, and to compare it with its competitor’s neighbouring flagship store, Paris.

IADS provides its members with a weekly in-depth analysis on retail-oriented topics. 

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