By  on August 28, 2008

Taubman Asia wants The Mall at Studio City in Macau to be the region’s most luxurious shopping mall.

On Wednesday, the developer gave a taste of what’s to come by disclosing several luxury labels that have agreed to open stores. They include A. Lange & Söhne, Alfred Dunhill, Berluti, Bulgari, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Cartier, Chopard, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Ermenegildo Zegna, Fendi, Franck Muller, Gucci, Miu Miu, Montblanc, Omega, Piaget, Prada, Roger Vivier, Tod’s, Van Cleef & Arpels and Versace.

The Mall at Studio City is the 600,000-square-foot shopping center component of the $2.5 billion Macao Studio City complex of theaters, retailers, gaming, entertainment and hotels. The development is located on the Cotai Strip, the casino and tourist mecca in Macau inspired by Las Vegas.

Taubman said additional “major fashion brands” have committed and are expected to be revealed in the coming months. The developer so far has received commitments from retailers covering more than half of the center’s space. The mall will house 140 stores and is expected to be operating in 2011.

“With flagship stores, luxury retailers will have a platform where they can fully express their brand value and full range of products,” said Morgan Parker, president of Taubman Asia.

Taubman won’t be without challenges in getting the project fully leased, however. Macau’s gaming sector has been prosperous since its opening to foreign investment in 2002, hitting $10.4 billion last year. The gaming market could top $12 billion this year. But the rate of growth is expected to decline due to the world economy. There’s also expected to be rising competition from casinos emerging elsewhere in Asia, such as Singapore, where The Las Vegas Sands is set to open next year. Other countries in the region are also planning to start gaming industries or grow what they have. While Macau has surpassed Las Vegas in gaming revenues, it’s not as built up yet with luxury retailing.

Furthermore, luxury retailers are becoming more cautious in their expansion programs, partly because of the slowdown this year seen in Las Vegas.

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