The Americanas retailer announced this Wednesday (7th) plans for Submarino to reach the physical world after 23 years of online operations, through the opening of kiosks for the sale of technology accessories, such as those used with cell phones and computers.
The company still gives few details about the project, whose first point was opened last week in Barueri (SP). “Our purpose is to operate in this technology segment with the Submarino brand and become a national reference for this category”, said Wellington Santos, executive president of the Uni.co Group, which is behind the initiative. The executive did not make projections about the openings of the Submarino’s physical points of sale.
The kiosks will be established in the franchise model, with 6 or 9 square meters each. Therefore, the initiative will be managed by Uni.co, a platform acquired in 2021 by Americanas that operates franchises such as Puket and Imaginarium.
Submarino, today a site dedicated especially to the sale of electronic products, joined Americanas.com in 2006, forming B2W at the time —which, in turn, merged with Lojas Americanas last year to form Americanas.
On its website, Submarino sells everything from cell phone cases to books, games, cell phones and computers, but the kiosks will initially focus on accessories, with an assortment of 700 products.
Santos, stated that the number of products can evolve over time and that the expansion of well-performing kiosks in larger stores is not ruled out, in a similar model to what happens with the current brands of Uni.co. The project should start in large capitals, especially in malls, according to him.
Each kiosk should require an investment of R$ 120,000, and Americanas estimates a net return of 10% to 15% for franchisees, depending on the region, with a return between 12 months and 24 months, “which could reach 30 months”, he said. he.
Americanas saw its total sales fall 8.3% in the third quarter compared to a year earlier, in the face of a 14.4% decline in sales in e-commerce, as demand for computer and electronics products declined in retail in general as impact of the macroeconomic scenario.
The company stated that the space in the Submarino kiosks can be used to pick up products purchased in e-commerce operations, subject to the proportions of the model.
Santos said that the accessories sector is a growing market and that “there isn’t a large group” operating in it. “The great differential is the strength of the Submarino brand”, he stated.
Americanas bought control (70%) of the Uni.co group in 2021 for an undisclosed amount, with the possibility of acquiring the remainder in the coming years, with one of the objectives of the transaction being to explore the franchise segment. Uni.Co is the franchisor of around 450 stores under four different brands.
Questioned about whether the franchise model could also be taken to other Americanas brands, the executive avoided giving details, saying only that the focus now is on the Submarino project.
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