Brazilian food retailer GPA sees online sales increase fivefold in 4-5 years

SAO PAULO, February 2 (Reuters)Brazilian food distributor GPA SA PCAR3.SA expects e-commerce sales to grow more than fivefold over the next four to five years while maintaining margins, chief executive Jorge Faical said Wednesday.

Speaking at a Credit Suisse online event, Faical said digital sales across the industry have tripled since the pandemic began, to around 1.5% of total sales. At GPA, whose main shareholder is the French distributor Casino CASP.PA9% of all sales are online.

He mentioned a range of challenges for supermarkets to sell online, such as delivering products in ever shorter lead times, which makes the process more expensive and puts pressure on margins.

Despite this, he said the company is confident it can maintain the same levels of profitability in e-commerce sales as in physical stores, which should be facilitated by the group’s network of around 800 stores across the country that can be used as distribution centers.

Shares of Brazilian food retailer GPA jump after $949 million deal with Assai

(Reporting by Aluísio Alves; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

((stephen.eisenhammer@thomsonreuters.com; +55 11 5644 7726;))

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David A. Albanese