Business

Chilean retail giant Falabella plans to launch a single e-commerce portal for all LatAm in 2021

In the third quarter, the company was able to reverse the previous quarter results and reported a net income of US$ 6 million

A Falabella department store in Bogotá
A Falabella department store in Bogotá, Colombia. Photo: Shutterstock (2018).
  • During the third quarter, more than 50% Falabella’s financial products sales was made through digital channels;
  • More than 75,000 credit cards were digitally issued;
  • And Fpay, the company’s e-wallet, has exceeded 350,000 users in Chile.

Chile-based retail giant Falabella has reported its third-quarter results on Tuesday. The company has managed to reverse the backdrop brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and reported a net income of $6 million – the sales of all the retail operations of the group grew 24% from July to September, driven not only by the resumption of activities in its physical stores but also to sustained growth in its e-commerce platforms.

During the conference call with analysts, Gaston Bottazzini, Falabella’s CEO, said that the company is planning to launch a single e-commerce portal for all its operations in Latin America “at the beginning of 2021”.

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“We are confident that the momentum achieved in recent months will be boosted by the consolidation strategy of our digital channels under the umbrella of falabella.com, which will reach our clients in early 2021, unifying the offer of 7 million products of all our retailers and 10,000 sellers,” wrote the executive in its statement for investors.

He also highlighted that the company continued making progress in digitizing its financial services as well. “During the quarter, more than 50% of the sale of financial products was made through digital channels. Also, during the quarter we opened more than 75,000 credit cards, 100% digitally across the region and Fpay (our wallet) has already exceeded 350,000 registered users in Chile.”

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Online sales grew 4,5 times in third quarter over the same period of 2019. The traffic to the company’s e-commerce websites grew 171%, to more than 320 million visits.

Even with the reopening of physical stores, the company had to adapt to the demands of the pandemic and saw its logistics costs grow 52%, to $169 million in the third quarter. This increase in distribution costs was due to the sending of orders from physical stores to consumers’ homes, which grew 15 times compared to the same period last year, and to the increase in sales via the Falabella app, which reached a share of 40% of the group’s total sales.

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The company is best known for its retail business – which includes not also typical department under the name of the company, but supermarkets (Tottus) and home improvement (Sodimac) brands –, but traditionally invests also in the real state sector (especially malls). More recently, Falabella has also been betting on the digital transformation of its tech and financial services, using its huge consumer base to leverage the new activities.

Considering all these businesses, besides Chile, Falabella also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay.

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