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Brazilian Retail News

Year 10 - Issue # 394 - So Paulo, July, 04

, 2011
Phone: (5511) 3405-6666
Abilio Diniz aims power in the global
Ablio Diniz, owner of Grupo Po de Acar, Brazils top
retailer, intends to become Carrefours largest shareholder,
surpassing French enterpreneur Bernard Arnault, owner
of LVMH group. In a merger with Carrefour in Brazil, Diniz
would receive 11.7% of the shares of the French group, a
stake that would rise to 17%. The proposition was planned in
secrecy by Diniz in the last months and presented last week
by BTG-Pactual group. Casino, Po de Acars partner
in Brazil and archrival of Carrefour in France, however,
refuses this deal, as it had previously to be informed about
the discussions.
CASINO increases share in CBD yet again
French retailer Casino has moved to tighten its grip on Brazilian retailer Companhia Brasileira de Distribuiao (CBD),
purchasing around US$ 740 million in shares in an attempt to fend off a competing bid by Carrefour. This share purchase
- Casinos second in the last month - underscores the companys intention to fght for control of Brazils biggest retailer.
Starbucks changes strategy in Brazil
After buying enterpreneur Peter Rodenbecks majority
stake in the Brazilian operation, US coffeehouse chain
Starbucks changed its strategy in the country. The company
will not focus on the higher-income population anymore
and intends to make the chain more mainstream. The new
approach will make Starbucks rise from todays 23 stores
in three cities (So Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Campinas)
to 100 restaurants until the end of 2012, with units in the
largest cities of the country.
Staples resumes expansion in Brazil
After getting stuck for fve years in restructuring Offcenet, a B2B offce supplies company purchased in 2005, US big-
box chain Staples understands it is time to speed up expansion in Brazil. With global revenues around US$ 25 billion,
Staples intends to go shopping in the country, fxing a hole it has today: the lack of brick-and-mortar stores. According to
Relatrio Reservado, the ultimate goal is to purchase Kalunga, the countrys largest category killer in the segment. Two
years ago, a deal was not achieved, but Staples intends to try again. With the purchase, Staples sales in Brazil would
sixfold, to R$ 1.3 billion (US$ 812.5 million), and the company would have a 60 stores chain in Brazil.
Brazilian Retail News
Year 10 - Issue # 394 - So Paulo, July, 04
, 2011
Phone: (5511) 3405-6666
Supermarket sales rise modestly in May
According to data released by trade group Abras, supermarket sales had in May a 0.69% growth over the same month
last year, leading year-to-date sales to a 4.54% rise. Over April, sales dropped 11.34%, an expected move, as Easter
leveraged fgures in the fourth month of the year.
After IPO, Brazil Pharma wants to expand chain
Pharmaceutical retailing group Brazil Pharma raised R$ 465,75 million (US$ 258 million) in its IPO, below the initial
forecast of R$ 520 million. The company, owner of Farmais, Rosrio, Guararapes and Mais Econmica chains, sums
663 stores and forecasts its sales will reach R$ 2 billion (US$ 1.25 billion) this year. The company will use 70% of the
resources from the IPO in acquisitions and organic expansion.
Consumer confdence rises 2.3% in June
After falling for three months, consumer confdence rose in June, according to Fundao Getlio Vargas (FGV). The
ICC index went up 2.3% month-on-month, to 118 points, after dropping 2.4% in May over April. The current situation index
rose 1% in June, while the expectations component jumped 3.2%.
Smartphone sales to soar 114% this year
In 2011, there will be sold 62 million mobile phones in
Brazil, 35% more than last year. Around nine million will
be smartphones, 114% more than in 2010, and they will
account for 15% of the total mobile phone base, according
to electronics giant Samsung.
Brazilian Retail News
Year 10 - Issue # 394 - So Paulo, July, 04
, 2011
Phone: (5511) 3405-6666
The biggest challenge: people
Marcos Gouva de Souza - CEO, GS&MD - Gouva de Souza
Employment data released by the Labor Ministrys Caged institute show in May the number of people hired dropped 15%
year-on-year, driven by the industry (-32%). Year-to-date, the number of new jobs fell by 88,500 over the same period in 2010.
In the real world, however, it has not been easier to fnd the right people and to retain them. Much on the contrary.
The diffculties to hire and retail good professionals today in Brazil have become the biggest challenge for the companies,
no matter the market segment.
The expansion of the companies, a still heated economy (although slightly less than last year), the low unemployment level
and the ongoing growth for the next years, even if in a lower pattern than in the recent years, have turned people management
into the most complex trouble to be faced.
Any more ambitious expansion plans stop in the diffculty to fnd and, mainly, retain the right people to make new projects
feasible. Or even to keep on the move whatever has already been started. The problem is more visible in the South and
Southeast of the country, but has been noticed everywhere in the market and has become a constant issue in any strategic
or operational debate.
Some industrial sectors have been passing through less tormented waters, due to the reduction of the domestic and foreign
demands. But, on the other hand, services, construction and retail segments have been struggling with a rising workforce cost,
and so they need to review their benefts and wage policies to attract and retain the best professionals.
One needs to acknowledge never before in this country the unions situation demanding wage rises has been so good as
today, due to a simple demand and offer issue. Many years of discussions on improvements have been overwhelmed by the
reality of lack of prepared people to support business expansion.
Trying to fnd alternatives for some functions and specializations, there are recruiting programs overseas, as well as Brazilians
have been brought back from other markets, as Portugal, Spain and even the US, where the market demand has not been so
strong. At least for some time.
The downside of it, besides the lack of qualifed people, is the higher turnover, the rising wages pressing costs, the disposition
of employees to face new and better-paid adventures, and the increasing investments in recruitment, selection and training.
The positive side is a natural economic excitation and the improvement of consumers purchasing power.
As a practical task, there is the challenge to review recruitment, selection and training strategies, policies and initiatives,
as well as the processes and technologies that may, somehow, lower this dependency. In this context, to lessen the problem,
there also should be reviewed some approaches that in the past led to the opening of more jobs, as the banning of self-service
activities in many segments.
The consequence of all this is a natural perception of the countrys evolution and the need of much bigger investments in
people training, development and formation, so that the continuity of growth shall not be compromised.
Brazilian Retail News (BRN) is a weekly newsletter published by GS&MD - Gouva de Souza with the most important news
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Phone: (5511) 3405-6666 Fax: (5511) 3263-0066