A visit to a shopping mall is the epitome of living in Jakarta. Much more than a shopping destination, malls are mini cities often containing offices, movie theatres, arcades, organic grocers and even supercar showrooms and ballrooms! A refuge Jakarta’s tropical weather, malls are often brimming with locals and tourists alike on leisurely weekends. The variety of malls targeting different clientele ensures that there is something for everyone, art aficionados looking for traditional Indonesian crafts to the high-flying executive looking to purchase the newest Rolex timepiece. Besides shopping, malls are also dining destinations. A selection of food courts, fast food chains, ice-cream parlours, as well as fine-dining restaurants and bars, means that there are always new delights to savour. In addition to the wide variety of products and amenities, a range of diverse activities is available for mall-goers. Live music performances, luxury product road shows, lively pop-up bazaars and dazzling magic shows are some of the spectacles that visitors will be treated to on their weekly stroll through Jakarta’s shopping malls.
Where to shop?
One can find mega malls in all of Jakarta’s districts. However, the largest and most opulent malls in Jakarta are located in Central and South Jakarta where a selection of designer goods and high-end international brands are showcased. Renowned brands such as Gucci, BVLGARI, Prada, Zara and Nike vie for prime retail space. Select department stores are anchor tenants in the luxurious mega malls, such as the Indonesian handicraft hub Alun Alun, Thailand’s leading department store Central, Japan’s retail conglomerate Seibu and the upscale French fashion destination Galeries Lafayette.
The Grand Indonesia shopping complex is situated strategically in the heart of Jakarta’s central business district. Facing the iconic Hotel Indonesia roundabout (Bunderan HI), Grand Indonesia welcomes an endless stream of visitors daily. Exploring the colossal establishment is a whole day’s task, with eight floors of retail space, restaurants and cafés spread out between the East and West malls. The flashy SKYE Bar & Restaurant located on the 56th floor of BCA Tower is also accessible via a lift. Opposite Grand Indonesia is the glitzy Plaza Indonesia, renowned for its ultra-luxurious fashion brands. International fashion giants such as Hermes, Versace, Louis Vuitton and Dunhill are some of the choice boutiques in Plaza Indonesia. To commemorate its 27th anniversary, Plaza Indonesia recently held Plaza Indonesia Fashion Week’s 10 Years of Style, which was attended by renowned designers and artists.
Venturing further south, the upscale Pacific Place is an exclusive shopping mall popular amongst the expats and inhabitants of South Jakarta. With over-the-top offerings such as the stunning McLaren showroom, international F&B offerings such as the tempting Ippudo Ramen and the fancy PAUL bakery and the most exclusive suites-only Ritz-Carlton hotel in Jakarta, Pacific Place sets itself apart other luxury malls in Jakarta. Nearby malls such as Plaza Senayan and Senayan City offer a variety of specialty products and services. With the recently widened pavements and pedestrian crossings, one can spend an afternoon hopping between the three malls, as well as visiting the nearby Fairmont Jakarta hotel famed for its exquisite dining.
City of fashion
The influx of local and international designers setting up specialty boutiques in Jakarta in recent years has seen a dramatic rise in global interest in Jakarta’s top fashion show – Jakarta Fashion Week. Passionate local designers showcase their original creations during the week-long pageantry attended by celebrities, artists and major players in the fashion world. Fashion pieces as diverse as sportswear, evening gowns and ceramic/tin accessories are some of the items on display. Designers against the US, Hong Kong and Bali join the festivities with their own creations.
Visitors inspired by the event can do a spot of inspired shopping with a choice of fashion boutiques in the Kemang district, such as Ara, which showcases the works of various local designers. For urban trendy street wear, fine leather goods and fashionable accessories, check out one of The Goods Dept fashion outlets scattered all over Jakarta. Those looking for something contemporary with a heavy dose of culture can check out the flagship Lucy’s Batik store located at Lippo Mall Kemang. For premium international labels, chic designer goods and quirky ornaments, try The Papillion Duo located at Pacific Place.