How Roberto Santiago Developed Two Successful Malls In Joao Pessoa

Roberto Santiago is a visionary entrepreneur who lives and works in Joao Pessoa, Brazil. He is also a dedicated sports enthusiast and investor. He owns the biggest shopping mall in the state of Paraiba which is called Manaira Shopping. He opened the mall in November 1989 and it has become a lynchpin of the city. He owns another mall in the city of Joao Pessoa as well, Mangabeira Shopping, which he opened in November 2014.

The two malls that Roberto Santiago owns are far enough apart from each other that they don’t interfere with the foot traffic that each mall receives. The opening day of Mangabeira Shopping was a stellar one for business. He said that some of the new stores in the mall had five times the turnover of product in comparison to the opening day of their other locations.

Over the last 19 years Roberto Santiago has expanded Manaira Shopping mall with five major renovations. It has become a daily destination for many in the Manaira community as it is filled with options for shopping, dining, and being entertained. When Roberto Santiago first built this mall the area was just used for residential purposes. Now there are commercial buildings and retail stores surrounding the mall. The area has seen a boon in employment between all of the people employed in these businesses as well as working at Manaira Shopping.

Roberto Santiago points to figures showing that both of his malls are thriving in recent years. The foot traffic at Manaira Shopping has increased between 10% and 15% each year since 2014, he says. Meanwhile, Mangabeira Shopping is also doing very well. He said that it’s less than 5% of the Manaira Shopping customers that have migrated to going to Mangabeira Shopping instead once it opened. Instead, the new mall is drawing new people to it that formerly were going to other retail destinations.

What’s remarkable about Roberto Santiago’s malls is that they were doing so well the last few years while Brazil’s economy was in a crisis. He said it’s because he continues to develop his malls in order to make them even better. As an example he expanded the food court twice at Manaira Shopping. It now has a restaurant to fit every budget. The newest expansion brought in upscale restaurant dining options that have been very popular with visitors to the mall. He also added a concert hall at Manaira Shopping that has been popular with both Brazilian and international musicians. This space has also played host to theatrical shows, business conventions, fairs, and trade shows.

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