By  on July 4, 2012

SAO PAULO, Brazil — It was a very sunny Sunday — after the rainiest start to winter in nearly seven decades in São Paulo — and Parque do Povo was packed with cyclists, children and runners. So the odds were against scores of people packing into an enclosed shopping mall.

But 70,000 people did exactly that on the opening weekend of the JK Iguatemi mall here. Last last month, the mall, Iguatemi Group’s 13th in Brazil and third in São Paulo, finally opened. It has been plagued since its original opening date, which was planned for April 18, largely by infrastructure and road requirements set forth by the city. The 65-day delay was estimated to have cost about 40 million reais, or about $19.6 million, in lost sales for the period, and does not include other costs, like paying staff that was not yet able to work so as not to lose them. (One of the current hot topics in local retail circles is how hard it is to find experienced workers for the luxury retail market. Store managers are the most important and in demand.)

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