In Brazil, supermarkets are much more than large grocery stores. Supermarkets also serve as a commercial centers, offering various business opportunities, as shown in this article.
Supermarket sales in Brazil have been constantly growing for well over 10 years. The sector’s total revenue in 2013 was BRL 272.2 billion, which indicates a growth of 5.5% in comparison to the previous year.
This growth confirms the evolution of Brazil’s supermarkets during recent times. As a result of such, many changes have been made — from the stores layout to the products offered.
Types of Supermarkets in Brazil
Supermarkets are classified according to certain characteristics. Essentially, three types can be seen in Brazil:
- The mini market, which is basically a local grocery store, with 4 checkouts or less
- The supermarket, larger than a grocery store and with a wider variety of products, with an average of 20 checkouts
- The hypermarket, which is usually very large, offers a much wider range of products, offers various services, and has at least 50 checkouts
The problem with these definitions is that they are not as strict as they seem to be, and are probably suited only to the size of the stores and the number of checkouts in each. The items sold and the services offered vary a lot, so you cannot state for certain that a mini market will only sell groceries, for example.
In Brazil, customers will find products like flip-flops and households utensils in mini markets. Supermarkets also sell pet food, flowers, some electronic items and often have a cafeteria and bakery inside. And among the products sold by Brazilian hypermarkets are car tires, clothing, televisions and furniture.
Services Offered Attached to Supermarkets
With the exception of mini markets, many services and other establishments are attached to supermarkets, despite the size of the store. Tobacco shops, newspaper stands and fast-food options are the most common. Some supermarkets even have restaurants that serve lunch and dinner, as well as lottery retailers.
Drugstores are also common in Brazilian supermarkets, never being inside of it, but having their own checkouts. Some chains, like Walmart, invest heavily in this business, owning their own brand of pharmacies and figuring as one of the leaders in this segment.
In the larger stores, other commercial activities can be found, such as beauty parlors and barber shops. In the parking lots — which are usually free of charge — there are often other establishments, such as gas stations, car washes and auto repair shops.
Services Offered Inside Supermarkets
Supermarkets in Brazil also work as a convenience center. The idea of gathering any possible service needed by a customer in the same place is quite common, and many services are offered inside the supermarket stores to fulfill this purpose.
The most common is the ability to pay bills and to top up pre-paid mobile phones at the supermarket checkouts. In Brazil, it is normal to watch a customer waiting in line with a bottle of soda in one hand and a water bill in the other.
It is also common to have ATMs inside supermarkets. This service is usually located near the exit of the store, so customers are allowed to use it without buying anything.