Inflation and dollar sweep cheap products from shelves

Faced with the small amount of products at R$ 1.99, the brothers Arcolus38, and Rayla Nunes, 33, took the cipher from the name of one of the stores founded by his parents. Now it’s just called Options and Varieties. The other store, Options 1.99, kept the number.

They say that the pandemic dropped by 27% the revenue of the main store, from R$ 1.99, to R$ 220 thousand per month in 2021. The profit plummeted 66% in the year, to R$ 30 thousand per month. With the numbers below expectations, they fired three of the ten employees.

The customer only comes to buy what he already has in mind. It’s hard for him to come here and take something more, like he was before [da pandemia].
Arcolus Nunes, merchant

“Customers complain about the price, and we try to explain that this is the world we are living in. There are many who ask for a discount”, he says. Rayla.

On a day-to-day basis, the brothers changed business strategies. Before, they went to regions like Pari and Rua 25 de Março, two popular retail hubs in São Paulo, almost daily, to buy products from suppliers. Now they only go twice a week.

They also tried to sell food last year, such as rice, beans and pasta, but it didn’t work.

“I started with [meio quilo de] coffee at R$12 and I stopped when it was R$16. The products were selling well, they didn’t run aground, but you can’t compete with supermarkets”, says Arcolus.

With price readjustments, it became routine in the brothers’ stores to change product labels at least once a week. Before the crisis, they did this every two or three months.

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