By  on March 14, 2007

NEW YORK — Gucci will open a two-story, 4,844-square-foot flagship on Presidente Mazaryk Street in Mexico City today, joining luxury retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Chanel, Tiffany & Co. and Cartier in the tony neighborhood of Polanco.

The area boasts sophisticated restaurants, modern apartments and office buildings, and a shopping strip that has been likened to Rodeo Drive.

"Presidente Mazaryk Street is the most desirable street in Mexico City," said Gucci chief executive officer Mark Lee. "It's the premier boulevard for luxury shopping in Mexico City. We wanted our new store to be surrounded by our luxury peers on a street that's emblematic of fashion"

The new unit will feature Gucci's men's and women's ready-to-wear, accessories, small leather goods, shoes and jewelry.

While Lee is confident of "strong performance in all of our product categories," he said, "Our customers in Mexico City have shown particular interest in ready-to-wear and fine jewelry."

Gucci has a base of customers in Mexico, who until now have shopped at the company's Houston, Dallas, Bal Harbour, Fla., and New York stores.

A centerpiece of the Polanco flagship is the double-height room with a glass ceiling where handbags are displayed. A VIP salon on the second floor has a suite for consumers who want privacy when they shop. Throughout the store, satin lacquer panels, polished stainless steel, rosewood and travertine marble provide elegant finishes and surfaces. And in a nod to the Mexico City shopping culture, Gucci built a parking area along the entire length of the storefront.

A city of extreme wealth as well as extreme poverty, Mexico City has the highest gross domestic product per capita in Latin America, $17,696. "Mexico City has become more stable from a socioeconomic standpoint," said Lee. "We see major opportunities for growth in several Latin American countries."

Lee said the determining factor for opening the Polanco store was the real estate. "The luxury customer base has been strong in Mexico City for quite some time. The timing for opening our flagship was determined by the availability of space on Presidente Mazaryk Street. The right location is essential for a Gucci store."To celebrate the opening, Gucci has partnered with Ambulante Gira de Documentales, Mexico's first traveling film festival, and will fund the completion of two documentaries, which will premiere at the 2008 festival. Ambulante Gira de Documentales was founded by actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, and musician Pablo Cruz.

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