Business

Brazilian retailer Via Varejo is close to same-day deliveries and funding marketplace sellers

The owner of the Casas Bahia and Ponto Frio brands posted a net profit of BRL 590 million for the third quarter the night before

Photo: REUTERS/ Nacho Doce
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Brazilian retailer Via Varejo is a few months away from being able to deliver its products purchased online on the same day and start financing sellers from its marketplace early next year, company executives said on Thursday.

The owner of the Casas Bahia and Ponto Frio brands reported a net profit of BRL 590 million for the third quarter the night before, compared to a loss suffered a year earlier, and a 218.7% increase in e-commerce sales.

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“Much of our energy so far has been to do the basics, and now we have time to think beyond retail,” said Via Varejo president Roberto Fulcherberguer, in an online conference with analysts.

“We are just a few months away from unlocking … we will start discussing ‘same-day delivery’, certainly towards the end of the first semester”. “What is missing for this”, said Fulcherberguer, “are some layers of technology”.

Via Varejo started to be controlled by the Klein family, founder of Casas Bahia. Since then, the group has undergone restructuring with a focus on competitors such as Magazine Luiza and B2W, mainly with regard to improving omnichannel sales, in which the consumer can make online purchases and choose to withdraw them in stores, for example.

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As a result, in recent months the company has been working to expand the integration of third-party sellers to its marketplace, an initiative that was delayed by the pandemic. According to the executive, Via Varejo started to integrate 800 to 1,000 salespeople on its platform per month, compared to 100 a few months ago.

Meanwhile, the company’s digital bank, Banqi, should have a structure by March 2021 to offer financing to marketplace sellers. “In the first quarter, we will have this well underway. We will be able to finalize their customers’ payments and the sellers themselves,” said the president of Via Varejo.

Fulcherberguer said that the company is studying a plan to “rationalize” its network of physical stores in the country, which involves overlapping about 100 points of sale and which may be closed to increase the profitability of the stores that continue to operate. The company has more than 1,000 brick-and-mortar stores.

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The executive hinted that sales in October and November are maintaining strength despite the reduction in the amount of emergency aid offered by the federal government due to the pandemic. “We are happy with what is happening in the fourth quarter. We are very optimistic,” he said, without giving further details.

According to Fulcherberguer, Via Varejo has not yet felt the impact of the reduction in aid on sales. “We continue to sell well,” he said.

(Translated by LABS)