Chilean department store chain La Polar has plans to open 13 stores in Colombia, beginning this year, in order to take advantage of a projected rise in the country’s consumer spending, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
Pablo Alcalde, chairman of La Polar Empresas SA, said his company plans to spend $250 million between 2012 and 2015 to open 10 stores in Colombia and eight in Chile. In addition, the company will open three stores in Colombia and three in Chile in the upcoming months of 2011.
“We are 100% committed to Colombia. The Colombia operation could eventually become bigger than La Polar’s Chile operation,” said Alcalde of his company, which currently has only one store open in Colombia, and 43 in its home country.
According to Colombian Central Bank President Jose Dario Uribe, the country’s economy may grow by up to 5.5% this year, partly as a result of an increase in consumer confidence, making the country particularly appealing to prospective investors.
In April, La Polar reported first quarter profits of $13.5 million, an increase of 58% on the first quarter of 2011.