Home » TECH AND INTERNET » Brazil retailers hunt for M&A deals to compete for e-commerce dominance

Brazil retailers hunt for M&A deals to compete for e-commerce dominance

Vendor Denise Fernandes de Queiroz talks to a costumer as they enter a messaging application on their phones at a Casas Bahia retailer in Sao Paulo, Brazil, August 3, 2021. Image taken August 3, 2021. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

August 4, 2021

By Tatiana Bautzer

August 4 (Reuters) – In March last yr, Oziel da Silva Santos wanted a new Television set but with suppliers shut thanks to COVID-19 limits in Brazil’s northern metropolis of Belem, the 50-yr old was clueless about how to get just one. He adopted a website link on the internet site of furniture retailer Through Varejo and named a retailer supervisor.

On the other conclude of the line was Railton Sampaio, a supervisor at the city’s biggest By using Varejo. Sampaio assisted him buy the Television set on line, sending the link for payment by way of the typically utilized messaging application WhatsApp.

Santos is 1 of the tens of millions of Brazilians generating a 1st-time purchase on-line as a consequence of the pandemic, a crucial new sector for the country’s major merchants. Shops are adapting their methods – and pursuing merger and acquisition (M&A) to help easy the changeover to online searching for inexperienced clients.

In 4 months, Santos designed 5 additional on the net purchases with By using Varejo salesmen’s help, producing commissions for the store’s brokers.

Sampaio’s product sales crew is an case in point of a increasing electronic strategy amid Brazil’s major shops to maximize profits and entice new on the web clients following lockdowns shuttered most brick and mortar retailers early in the pandemic.

When Brazil’s major towns mandated closure of all outlets in March of 2020, By way of Varejo’s income dropped 70%. Just about straight away, the retailer mobilized its 20,000 sales individuals to commence advertising via social platforms Facebook and WhatsApp. “The pandemic accelerated our electronic transformation and we did in a several months what was envisioned for a year,” By way of Varejo CEO Roberto Fulcherberguer explained.

Each and every retailer opened a Facebook account, and salespeople to start with marketed presents to friends and relatives. The campaign “Call me on Zap,” the Brazilian nickname for the well known WhatsApp messaging application, supplied on the web chatrooms with shop administrators.


Even as actual physical store areas reopened in the latest months due to the national vaccine rollout, By using Varejo and rivals this kind of as Magazine Luiza SA and Lojas Americanas SA carry on to thrust for on line income. At By using Varejo, 56% of income will come from on the web gross sales, in contrast to 30% pre-pandemic.

“Salespeople are now keen to promote on the web. I get a great component of my commissions on the net,” reported Karina Ferreira Dias, saleswoman at a massive By means of Varejo keep in Sao Paulo metropolitan region. In contrast to other firms, Through Varejo has not decreased personnel even when most of its suppliers had been closed.

Journal Luiza has a related method. “During the pandemic, salespeople ended up capable to sell by an app. They get commissions on every little thing they sell, be it on-line, third social gathering products and solutions in the market or in particular person,” stated Eduardo Galanternick, its vice president.

The largest corporations, Journal Luiza, By using Varejo and attire retailer Lojas Renner lifted a lot more than $3 billion in mixed share choices and invested proceeds generally in M&A.

Magazine Luiza and Through Varejo’s M&A approach was to bulk up their digital presence to experience raising competitiveness from panregional rivals this kind of as Mercadolibre Inc, just one of Latin America’s most worthwhile firms, Amazon.com Inc and even AliExpress. They have created huge marketplaces with tens of 1000’s of third party sellers every single.

Final month, Through Varejo obtained fintech Celer, aiming to raise money solutions it features by means of its digital banking and credit history application BanQi. It has obtained six providers because final calendar year and established a venture funds fund that will spend 200 million reais around the next 5 several years in tech startups.

Journal Luiza bought 12 providers very last calendar year, of which 9 ended up tech startups. So considerably this 12 months, the business has bought 10 corporations, such as supply firms, fintechs and e-commerce firms specialized in elegance goods, foods and videogames.

Most of the specials bolstered the “omnichannel” services to customers, enabling mixes of on the web and offline solutions that Brazilian merchants hope will assist them compete with huge world wide web companies. Magazine Luiza, for example, has opened 23 information physical suppliers in Rio de Janeiro final month and ideas to access 50 by the end of the calendar year.

Some vendors, missing both of those liquidity all through the pandemic and a electronic approach, went into bankruptcy protection, this kind of as bookstore chains Saraiva Livreiros and appliance retailer Maquina de Vendas. They now have a meager opportunity of rising from it, money analysts say.

“The pandemic sharply divided winners and losers in Brazilian retail and what they did all through this time period will define their potential,” mentioned Ricardo Lacerda, CEO of investment lender BR Associates, who encouraged some of Brazil’s most significant retail bargains.

($1 = 5.2128 reais)

(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer, added reporting by Jimin Kang Modifying by Aurora Ellis)

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