Mirab, the Multi-Million dollar Shopping Experience Worth Every Dollar Invested

We don't usually put store openings on the news - unless that opening is a societal event. And so it was today for the new Mirab Store, which represents the most money ever invested on building a commercial space in Belize. Doe it meet expectations? Jules Vasquez was among the first to visit:..

Jules Vasquez reporting
This is the moment shoppers have been waiting months for. The opening of the doors for the biggest, most decked out Department store in Belize's history.

Shoppers pushed in from the outside and within no time it seemed, the parking lot was full to capacity.

Khyla Banner, Mirab Employee
"Our biggest reward this morning was seeing our customers' faces. So when they walked in and we saw them and we saw how excited they were, that was our biggest reward."

Sheena Thomas, Mirab Employee
"Its total excitement. I mean we have been working long hours. We are here sometimes until 11-12 at night. So it has been totally excited and to see the guests faces as they walk in light up - wow!"

The three story commercial space has 100 thousand square feet of shopping area and while most of the shoppers we saw seemed to be just getting a feel for the place

Within minutes, folks had already snatched up products and were checking out.

Dr. Dionne Miranda, Public Relations - Mirab
"Getting it to this point, based on the fact that Belizeans deserved to have something in this country that they are not having to travel abroad. For the people who cannot and will never get a plane ticket - this is yours. This is your gift from Mirab."

Well, we don't know about all that - it is a business after all - and with all the overhead and the cost of investment associated with an expansion of this magnitude - one wonders whether the gift will be in a fair, consistent price point:

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"I'm certain it's the largest investment ever in a commercial space in Belize. What are you able to speak about the quantum of the investment and the scale of it?"

Dr. Dionne Miranda
"The only think I can tell you is that the investment, the detail to creating this store was worth it for the Belizean people."

Reporter
"Sometimes re-incorporating these types of investments are felt in the cost of goods. Will consumers be feeling a pinch in terms of the prices here?"

Dr. Dionne Miranda
"No. We do not see that they will be feeling any pinch. What we have done, however, we have also added in some new higher end because we realize that some people may want added - like Nicole Miller and Pioneer Woman and that sort of thing. Everybody can get a gift in here starting at say three dollars."

And what they're trying to capture are those shoppers who might take their dollars to Chetumal:

Dr. Dionne Miranda
"People travel across the border, not only for shopping. They go there for a trip for their family. So you can't take that away. Belizeans deserved time away. However, the struggle and the hassle of carrying big bags and all of that for minimal cost and having to pay duties and all of that - travel abroad, enjoy your trips, but come in and check the prices and shop and gain the value that we have and I can say, compare it, see it, because it is real. We are reasonable in our pricing. It's your choice, but we want to give you an amazing choice and an ability to have something worthy of making a choice against and I do believe that if you compare us with even of some of the larger establishments in those other countries, how do we compare?"

The store excels in style, setting and design, no argument, time will tell if after this first rush fades - whether Mirab can continue to fill these aisles year round:

Dr. Dionne Miranda
"So at the very end of the day I believe it's not only a win for the customers to have a great spot, but also for Belize to ensure that yes, money does stay at home and that we also still get the value and the joy of shopping within an environment that makes you happy."

Mirab says that following this opening it's going to be open until 7:00 at night to capture those who have to work during the day. In two weeks, the store will undergo another transformation as it puts up Christmas decorations.

Channel 7


Mirab Opens Its New Mega Department Store

Mirab has a new department store and today it opened for business, offering a high-end shopping experience. The Mirab store relocated from the Fort Street area to the Philip Goldson Highway where its one hundred thousand plus square foot store boasts a number of new additions to its product lines and departments, including the Ashley Furniture Home Store. Mirab says that to accommodate more customers and make the shopping experience comfortable and easy, they have also introduced several features for shoppers to take advantage of. Reporter Andrea Polanco attended today’s opening and tells us more about the impact of the new store.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Today, Mirab opened the doors of its new department store on the Philip Goldson Highway. After about three years of construction, employees welcomed customers for the first day of business inside the newly constructed, multi-level store. Mirab and Company aims to offer an enhanced shopping experience now that they have expanded their operations.  And the experience starts from outside – a big parking lot, bike racks, a bus stop – are just some of the features to accommodate shoppers.  Today they lined up to get first look and cashed in on opening day deals at the new store.

Morris Dena, Customer, Mirab

“Well, we are here today to see the new Mirab that is open and see what it is all about. Just to see everything, products and everything.”

Andrea Polanco

“How you like the experience?”

Morris Dena

“Very nice. Everything is nice and beautiful.”

Andrea Polanco

“Tell me how you like the new Mirab store?”

Barbara Peyrefitte, Customer, Mirab

“Beautiful. When I come here, I say, ‘My God, it is beautiful.’ I don’t have to go to the states. I am already in the states.”

Andrea Polanco

“Anything specifically you looking for today?”

Barbara Peyrefitte

“Well, I am looking for some mats, floor mats. That is what I am looking for right now.”

Andrea Polanco

“So, you definitely coming back here?”

Barbara Peyrefitte

“Definitely coming back here.”

And one of the benefits of this new store is that shoppers can now get just about everything they need– without having to travel across the borders or buy online – keeping the dollars at home: But will consumers have to absorb some of the cost of this investment in the price of goods?

Dionne Chamberlain, PR, Mirab & Co.

“We do not see that they will be feeling any pinch. Because if you comparatively look at some of our prices, and I will give you one that I was looking at recently. I was looking for pillows and we use the pillows that are tagged by Ross, for instance in the U.S. It is tagged eighteen dollars US for the pillow. We didn’t take off the Ross logo because it is the same packer that does it for Belize and because we sell it for thirty belize dollars; which is three dollars U.S less and that is without the shipping, the duty and the transportation and a big bulky pillow. And you can find this through-out the store in quality merchandise. What we have done, however, we have also added in some new higher end because we realize that some people may want added – like Nicole Miller and Pioneer Woman and that sort of thing.  Everybody can get a gift in here starting at say three dollars all the way up depending on what it is that you want to provide.”

This is arguably the largest commercial investment of its kind in Belize. And while it offers a different level of shopping experience for the customers and a comfortable work environment for the employees, from construction to retail the impact of this multi-million dollar venture is felt through the jobs it provides and other economic opportunities for locals.

Dionne Chamberlain

“Quite a bit of employment has been created. Our staff has pretty much doubled or tripled during the construction phase because I am sure you can tell on a massive perspective this took in electricians, plumbers, engineers, gardeners and everything to create it. And so yes, for the mere space of it, we are opening an entire Ashley store in November and that takes on a whole new level of staffing. We now have credit on credit which is offering financing; we are doing lay-ways. We have really grown staffing. We do have three opportunities available for if a restaurant wants to open up for whatever business in the front for rental space. So, people are welcome to come in and take a look at those and rent those. There are other opportunities for sales. And again, this keeps the money at home. We customs, we pay G.S.T. We are a fully Belizean company, having Belizean staff, paying all Belizean taxes and conforming to all Belizean laws. So, at the very end of it, I believe it is not only for the customer to have a great spot but also for Belize to ensure that yes, money does stay at home.”

The store features a number of new lines including goods for the tourism industry; and the usual clothing and footwear; home goods; toys and other expanded departments. The Ashley Furniture Store is to be opened in a few weeks. In total the company has about eighty employees, most of whom you are guaranteed to meet at this new store, including these two friendly faces.

Sheena Thomas, Sales Consultant, Mirab

“It is total excitement. I mean we have been working long hours. We have been here sometimes working eleven, twelve at night. So, it is totally exciting to see the customers faces as they walk in, light up – wow. We feel like that every day, preparing this for you guys to come home. It is an experience in itself.”

Khyla Banner, Customer Service Rep, Mirab

“Our biggest reward this morning was seeing our customers’ faces. So, when they walked in and we saw how excited they were, that was our biggest reward because we know that this store was a gift to them.”

Channel 5



Mirab’s Grand Opening Of Super Department Store In Belize City

We were given a run-down of the new store and met the personas of their advertising campaigns. The new Mirab has:
New bus stop location
Mirab taxi service
Over 105 parking spaces
Elevators and Escalators to help with easy access of floors
Hospitality area with special checkout and delivery
Opens until 7p.m. for convenience and shopping leisure

New Sections Include:
Candy Area
Larger Spaces
Area for shoes, including a section specifically for Men’s Shoes
Pet Section
Mirab Toyland with wider variety and accessories for Halloween
Customer Service
Resort Merchandise
Chef Accessories
NEW BRANDS including Ashley, Frigidaire, Pioneer Woman, Nicole Miller and Kenneth Cole

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today


The new Mirab Department Store opened today in Belize City

We Walked the Red Carpet and got a first look before the doors opened to the public. The new Mirab Department Store opened today in Belize City. Now located at 1.5Mls, Phillip Goldson Highway, the three-storey luxury MEGA STORE has over 100,000 square feet of display area and houses a Ashley Furniture Home Store (opening in November). The Mirab Department Store provides a variety of brand selections Belizeans have come to know and love. The only one of its kind in Belize! Get Ready to SHOP!




Mirab Opens Its New Mega Department Store

Mirab has a new department store and today it opened for business, offering a high-end shopping experience. The Mirab store relocated from the Fort Street area to the Philip Goldson Highway where its one hundred thousand plus square foot store boasts a number of new additions to its product lines and departments, including the Ashley Furniture Home Store. Mirab says that to accommodate more customers and make the shopping experience comfortable and easy, they have also introduced several features for shoppers to take advantage of. Reporter Andrea Polanco attended today’s opening and tells us more about the impact of the new store.

The New Mirabs Department Store: WOW in Belize City
My alarm went off at 4:45am and then again at 4:50am. I do NOT get out of bed this early for just anything. But yesterday was something I’ve been looking forward to for a while. ESPECIALLY since I got a sneak preview less than one month ago and WAS NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE PHOTOS INSIDE!!! I knew that inside and out there is NOTHING like the new 100,000 square foot Mirabs Department Store anywhere in Belize. From the staff locker rooms to the restrooms to the date palms and the landscaping to the cushy chairs placed everywhere around the store – usually for the boyfriend whose shopping stamina is very low – this new store is gorgeous and so thoughtful. The details, big and small, are perfection. So rather than continue to talk…let me show you. From my 5:15am golf cart ride on, yesterday was a beauty.