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Retail Champions, Rio and more

Brazil is among the top global targets for retail expansion, with a strong outlook in tier 2 cities.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

RETAIL CHAMPIONS
Brazil is among the top five countries worldwide in on A.T. Kearney’s 2010 Global Retail Development Index. The annual study ranks the top 30 emerging countries (including nine in Latin America) for retail expansion, based on 25 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables.

Another four Latin American countries are among the top ten markets. They are
Chile (ranked sixth), Uruguay (8) and Peru (9). Guatemala made its debut on the index, but not exactly as it wanted. It ranks last, with El Salvador (27), Colombia (26) and Mexico (25) among the other laggards. The Dominican Republic also made its debut and ranked 28th.

Meanwhile, Brazil ranks third among the top targets for expansion among the respondents. Only China and India fare better. “Despite recent consolidation, Brazil remains attractive to large retail chains,” A.T.Kearney says in its report Expanding Opportunitie for Global Retailers. “Tier 2 cities in the northeast and the center-west regions present the biggest opportunities as competition there is not as fierce. Apparel, home goods and furniture are wide-open for international players.”

RENOVATED CHRIST STATUE
Rio de Janeiro’s landmark Christ the Redeemer statue recently re-opened after a $4 million renovation financed by mining giant Vale and the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Rio. Vale will also pay for maintenance through 2015.

The 38-meter (125-foot) tall monument, which was created by Frenchman Paul Landowski and inaugurated in 1931, had cracks and other damage from water and had lost part of its surface coating of soapstone and other materials, Vale said in a statement.  Finding the same stone to keep the consistency of color was challenging for the restoration team, according to architect Marcia Braga, head of the project.  "The hardest part was finding the right color stone," Braga said during a recent press conference. The solution was to cut more than 60,000 small bits from the same quarry used at the time of construction of the statue.

The Christ statue boasts nearly two million visitors a year, more than the famous
Sugarloaf mountain, another symbol of Rio.


HAITI AWARD
Edward H. Davis, Jr. , a founding shareholder of the Miami international litigation and arbitration firm Astigarraga Davis, received The Florida Bar’s 2010 G. Kirk Haas Humanitarian Award in honor of his quick, coordinated and effective campaign earlier this year on behalf of The Florida Bar International Law Section (ILS) that raised $32,000 for relief efforts following the January 12 earthquake that hit Haiti, already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.  The award was presented by outgoing Florida Bar President Jesse H. Diner last month at the Bar’s annual convention in
Boca Raton.  “As soon as Ed Davis heard about Haiti’s tragedy, he immediately called upon colleagues and Section members and, within hours, he had mobilized the ILS team and the plan was well underway,” said his partner Edward Mullins and ILS Chair. “I am proud of his and the ILS’ relentless commitment to help those in need.” 

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