São Paulo retailers could face worst year on record

retailers são paulo
The pandemic will put many retailers out of business. Photo: Paulo Pinto/FP

Retailers in the state of São Paulo are on track to finish 2020 with their worst results to date, according to sector representatives. They expect a revenue drop of 20 percent in the first half of the year, as the state’s reopening process is due to occur in a very slow and gradual manner, amid a hostile economic environment.

“We do not expect a quick turnaround, as families have had their incomes shredded (…) and people’s predisposition to consume will be focused on essential items, as was the case during the 2014-2016 recession,” said one association of retailers. Companies are also undermined, with fewer employees, high levels of debt, low liquidity, and incorrect levels of stocks. 

Not happy ‘Sweethearts’ Day’

Sweethearts’ Day, Brazil’s version of Valentine’s Day celebrated on June 12, is often one of the most important dates for commerce in the country. However, due to social isolation measures, the 2020 edition is likely to see sales drop 33 percent, causing BRL 19 billion in losses. Fashion retail, which is a typical bellwether for consumption on Sweethearts’ Day, is set to drop 67 percent in sales in June, the equivalent of BRL 3.5 billion in losses. 

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