Published On: Mon, Oct 16th, 2017

After three years Sambil proves that it is more than a shopping mall

SambilWILLEMSTAD - Sambil Curaçao is the largest shopping center on the island. When construction of this mall was announced, it came with mixed feelings. “Isn’t this a little too big for such a small island?” Of course, there were also many in the community who were excited seeing that there aren’t much entertainment, especially family oriented, on the island.

Now, after three years since its official opening, Sambil has proven its added value in the community.

We spoke with Jonathan Cohen about the secret to Sambil’s success in Curaçao. He immediately answers: “Because we implemented Sambil’s concept. We became part of the community by giving back.”

Sambil is a family business founded in 1958 by Salomón Cohen Levy, who started with Constructora Sambil in Caracas - Venezuela. Since then it has been designing, constructing, marketing and managing a large number of residential properties, offices, hotels and shopping centers.

Sambil is now a leading company in Venezuela, having nine shopping centers in different cities of the South American country, as well as in Santo Domingo - Dominican Republic, Madrid and of course Curaçao.

The business, now in its third generation is still continuing on this path focusing on expanding the company. The first shopping mall outside of Venezuela was opened in 2012 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The company recently opened its newest concept, Sambil Madrid in Spain, and work is underway for Sambil Puerto Rico. All with the same concept: Sambil is “more than a shopping mall.”

“Sambil is now part of the community. We do community projects like the Veeris clean up a few months ago. Our shopping center is located in Veeris and we want to help this neighborhood. We asked them what they need. They asked us to help them clean the area and we did. We worked for several weeks and have loaded trucks with trash. Our own people worked, even my children,” said Jonathan during the interview.

After Veeris, the Sambil employees also did some service in the Marchena area which is close to the shopping mall. “We cleaned up a sports field there.”

There were also several foundations that have used Sambil’s facilities as a place where people can come and make use of their services. Foundations like Cancer Prevention and Ronald McDonalds. “This is what makes us part of the community. It’s not only shopping but there are several social activities that can be done here.”

On the business side, Jonathan indicates that Sambil has brought world-renowned brands to the island. The choice of stores is second to none on the island and they understand the value of customer service - a skill missing throughout the majority of all of the Caribbean. The customers know they are welcomed there. This is a feeling throughout the entire shopping mall. Next to international stores, there are also local ones. Sambil offers the opportunity for local investors to open a business in the mall. Sambil’s staff will not only provide a unit for the business but will also assist the owners in being successful.

Photo: Jonathan Cohen and his mother Mrs. Cohen

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