Grupo Pão de Açúcar advances in the digital supermarket race

LatamList – The Pão de Açúcar Group, Latin America’s largest food retail group, accelerated investments to keep its lead.

According to the company, the food trade grew by 272% in the second quarter compared to the same period in the previous quarter. About 90% of purchases are delivered in less than 24 hours, delivering an average of 700K items per day.

GPA manages part of its logistics through James Delivery that it acquired in 2018. James Delivery saw sales volume grow more than 1,200%, with an increase in the number of orders and tickets. 

Rodrigo Pimentel, the e-commerce Director of GPA, believes that part of this growth comes from the rapid response right at the beginning of the quarantine. In a single day, he approved the hiring of 1,000 new employees, growing its fleet of 250 vehicles.

Since then, the company has increased the number of stores that deliver directly to e-commerce from 120 to 200. GPA has also opened three new distribution centers and plans to open another three by the end of the year.

Pimentel says he does not care about the competition. 

“The market is going to grow anyway, this was an intense year and it unlocked this market,” he said. What makes GPA different, according to Pimentel, is the sale of fresh, chilled, and frozen foods, which are not normally sold by other platforms.

Unlike cleaning products or dry, grocery items, which can be purchased in bulk and stored, customers have to buy fresh perishable products much more frequently. Selling fresh items also guarantees a higher average ticket. Although the logistical cost of deliveries is greater than a purchase at a physical supermarket, the average ticket per purchase is six times higher in e-commerce than in a supermarket. 

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