March 24, 2014, 12:56 PM

Latin American web sales grow 27% for Brazil’s largest web merchant

B2W also continues to diversify with new services for marketplace sellers and more private-label products for its mass merchandise sites Americanas.com and Submarino.com.

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B2W Inc., Brazil’s largest web merchant, continues to invest lots of time and energy in new business development that will help the company diversify even more in the years to come, B2W executives told investors last week on its 2013 year-end earnings call.

Already the No. 1-ranked merchant in Internet Retailer’s 2013 Latin America 400 and the biggest online retailer in Brazil, B2W now wants to expand its own private-label products and provide more e-commerce technology and related services to web merchants that sell on B2W’s marketplace. “We want to be the biggest digital company in Latin America,” CEO Anna Christina Ramos Saicali told analysts.

B2W made three major acquisitions in 2013 to diversity its operation and expand its e-commerce technology platform and fulfillment system. As part of a planned $450 million three-year spending plan, B2W acquired Ideais Tecnologia Ltda, an e-commerce systems platform developer, and Tarkena Consultoria, an advanced site search and product recommendation application developer. Its third major acquisition was of Click-Rodo Entegras Ltda, a Brazilian e-commerce logistics and fulfillment company. 

B2W didn’t say how much it paid for the three companies. But the acquired companies, along with the opening of three new regional distribution centers in 2015 and three to four other facilities by the end of 2015, are aimed at expanding B2W’s ability to offer same-day, next-day and faster shipping all around in Brazil and eventually other parts of Latin America, B2W says

By December 2015 B2W expects to operate as many as 21 regional distribution centers. “Everything we are doing is going to get us closer to the customer,” Saicali told analysts.

B2W has been selling online since 1999, and operates three of Brazil’s mass merchandise sites including Americanas.com and Submarino.com. Like Amazon.com Inc., B2W sells its own merchandise and lets other merchants sell on its sites. Saicali says B2W needs to diversify to gain a bigger share of Brazil’s e-commerce market. Online retail sales in Brazil grew 29.0% to an estimated $31.1 billion in 2013 from $24.1 billion in 2012, estimates web research firm eBit.

B2W is seeking to keep pace with other fast-growing web retailers such as Wal-Mart Brazil (No. 8 in the 2013 Latin America 400) and Mercado Libre. Mercado Libre operates the biggest online marketplace in Latin America and grew its 2013 gross merchandise volume by 48.9% to $2.1 billion from $1.41 billion. 

To build on its e-commerce business B2W began last fall began offering sellers on Americanas.com more services such as direct order fulfillment and delivery, and made it easy for sellers to exchange marketplace data with their accounting systems. B2W also added four new private-label lines for health and beauty, pets, stationery, and furniture.

For the year ended Dec. 31, B2W reported:

  • Sales grew 26.6% to $2.62 billion from $2.07 billion in 2012.
  • Net loss, which B2W calls net financial result, was $220.7 million compared with $180.8 million.
  • Fourth quarter sales grew 30.0% to $891.4 million from $683.5 million in Q4 2012.
  • Fourth quarter net loss was $61.7 million compared with $53.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
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