Retail Focus Online
Volume 1 - 2014
Virginia Tile Recognized Among JGA Projects in Chain Store Age Competition
The new Virginia Tile location in Chicago received accolades in the 2014 Retail Store of the Year competition recognizing the best of retail. Awarded in the Showroom category, Virginia Tile has transcended from the typical showroom to design studio. Taking a fresh and contemporary approach, the showroom provides appropriate white space through neutral, but well-articulated floors, walls, ceiling and fixtures. Along with Virginia Tile, CSA also recognized JGA designs for Whole Foods Market - Detroit as Best Supermarket and Jockey Bra as Best Single Unit Store. Each will be recognized at the SPECS Show in March. Congratulations to all!
EuroShop 2014 Launches on Sunday!
Don't miss CSA's Supermarket of the Year at EuroShop when Ken Nisch and Christine Sturch, Midwest Senior Interior Designer and Brand Coordinator for Whole Foods Market present: Making the Ordinary Extraordinary: A Look at Whole Foods Market - Detroit, the backstory on how a partnership between a passionate brand and a community of designers, artisans, pickers and fabricators allowed the character of the brand to develop from its location and the elements and icons of the local neighborhood. The event takes place at the EuroShop Expo, Hall 10 - F04, Sunday, February 16th from 11:30 am - 12 Noon. For more, click here.
Bricks and Clicks: Reinvented Retail in the Digital Era

Don't miss the Bricks and Clicks webinar on February 27th at 2:30 pm EST. Ken Nisch will join a cross-functional panel with pop-up and digital experience creators to discuss how retail leaders

are embracing the integration of Bricks and Clicks to address the seismic change transforming consumer behavior. To register, click here.
Sleep Number Wins CES Editor's Choice Award

The JGA-designed Sleep Number exhibit was the center of attention at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show where hundreds of new products were debuted in Las Vegas. The celebrated CES Awards named the new Sleep Number x12
bed with SLEEPIQ technology as Editor's

Choice. The flagship bed uses sophisticated sensors to track your heartbeat, breathing, and movement, and sends the info to a smartphone or tablet, where you can also use it to adjust the firmness to best fit your sleeping habits. For more, click here.

Chain Store Age: Profile on new Destination Maternity Prototype Designs
Progressive Grocer (India): High-Touch Merchandising Creates Memorable Experiences
Party & Paper Retailer: Tips on Renovating and Expanding Your Store
Gifts and Decorative Accessories: Make Showrooming Work for You
Museums & More Magazine: Universal Appeal, A Global Approach to Store Experience

Half Full, Half Empty By Marcos GouvĂȘa de Souza
In terms of consumers and retail in Brazil in 2013, the year can be divided into two clear moments. The first half was marked by uncertainty, inflation, default and credit crunch. The situation worsened with private banks being more careful and setting the tone. Results failed to have the desired impact, creating an atmosphere of pessimism and concern.

In the year's second half, inflation performed better, default rates were reduced and consumer confidence improved. The marked recovery was clear, but it was necessary to raise interest rates and impose more restrictions on granting credit.

As a the year-end numbers are finalized, Brazilian retail should close 2013 with 4% in real growth, which would place it among the five countries with the highest sales growth in the period compared to the previous year. However, the most important aspect of the year did not happen in the market, but involves the modification of population behavior seen since last June.

The character of the year became the Citizen-Consumer, who awoke after years of lethargy and brought a new social element into the real world that will affect the entire market profile in the coming years. The year started badly and could fall apart, but ended positively.

Two Divergent Perspectives
Two covers of The Economist - November 2009 and September 2013 showed two different moments in the country, but in fact do not represent the reality. Things were not so positive in the past and they are not so complicated nowadays. In fact it would be better to consider that these two covers clearly represent two distinct sectors in the country. The first one, still booming, shows the private one, particularly in consumption and in the retail segments where structural changes that happened in the country still indicate a strong growth ahead. The other one, a bit lost and indefinite, is a clear picture of the Brazilian public sector, with increasing difficulty in thinking strategically, reflecting on problems and creating solutions. The public sector has been an obstacle to a greater and more sustainable growth.

The international presence in the Brazilian retail market has improved with many global retail corporations coming to the country; increasing participation in all segments, especially in super and hypermarkets, as well as in household
appliances and consumer electronics sectors. As a result, a new reality is set in a more competitive, mature and global scenario. However, this new reality still presents many difficulties to new players, especially the ones that operate with less flexible models.

Market Growth Consequences
The current picture allows us to estimate the retail market will grow from 3.5% to 4.5 % in the near future between 2014-2017; seeing an increase of competitive pressure, international presence and the level of market consolidation. For the short term in 2014, there are many doubts about the positive and negative effects of the World Cup in the sales behavior of various categories of products and services; with some predictable momentary improvements at certain times and eventual retraction in others. Likewise, our presidential election should positively contribute to consumption due to investments and works to be done. Major changes in the outcome of those elections are not expected, signalizing the scenario will keep stable and things will move on.

What's Next
Globally, the scenario will definitely be better in the coming years and might positively contribute to segments and businesses with greater international connection. Unfortunately the country will become less attractive to new investments, which is not good. Recently, Brazil missed some important opportunities involving the public sector to do what was needed, settling instead for some specific improvements. That is one way of seeing the empty half of the glass.

If there is something relevant to reflect upon the current period is about all that the country has seen since June. This time is now for positive influences for the years to come. It's a matter of wishing to see the cup half full.


Marcos Gouvea de Souza is the founder, senior partner and CEO of GS&MD - Gouvea de Souza, a consulting firm focused on retail, marketing and distribution. He is a board member of the Ebeltoft Group, a global retail consulting alliance representing 20 countries. Gouvea is also a board member of the IDV- Institute for Retail Development, an entity comprising the thirty most important national and global retailers in Brazil. Mr. Gouvea is an author and co-author of several management, global business consulting, retail and distribution books. Formerly, he was an executive at both Brazilian and international companies within the retail segment. He may be reached at mgsouza@gsmd.com.br. For more info, click here.

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