As you – or your wallet – might have gathered by now, Panama is a shoppers haven and a hub for shopaholics from all over Latin America, given its competitive tariffs, VAT and taxes. Over 40,000 shoppers land in Panama just for the 48-hour frenzy of Black Friday Sales. And, you guessed it: Balboa Avenue is at the heart of Panama’s luxury new retail infrastructure.
Sparkling new Soho Mall and Multiplaza Pacific Mall both feature designer fashion from Panamanian couture to Parisian runways, and high-end boutiques serving handcrafted chocolates, leather and home goods and everything in between.
Chanel, Burberry, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Dior and Valentino are right at home in Soho Mall, while its main competitor, Multiplaza is a fun mix of high-end brands like Hermès, Zegna and Gucci and high-street players Zara and Forever 21. When you enter, ask for the Panama Shopping Card at reception to get the best discounts and deals inside, including automatic tax deductions for foreigners at many stores. Multicentro, a mall for the high street fashionista featuring Kenneth Cole, Clarks, Nike and the like, also hosts the Megapolis Convention Center, which can fit up to 3,000 guests.
For cutting-edge Panamanian fashion design, check out Edda Gonzalez’s gorgeous silk blouses at EG boutique on Aquilino de la Guardia and Susie Dávila’s beautifully crafted Panama hats, handbags and accessories inspired by the Guna Yala tribe inside Felix B. Maduro at Multiplaza. And, since the city’s fashion design school is just up the road, keep an eye out for pop-up designer sales featuring vibrant local labels Anna Francesca Blaser, Soussa Pitti, Vero Angel, 1993 and many many more.
For jewelry, Reprosa, inside Multiplaza, is known for its ornate reproductions of pre-Columbian jewelry and artifacts, made in partnership with Panama’s Museum of Anthropology. The handicrafts are all one of a kind, and include gold-leaf and silver jewelry, as well as mola art and carvings from cocobolo wood and tagua nut.
This article is part of our Ultimate Guide To Living And Investing On Balboa Avenue.