By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – According to the data collected across 7,500 stores in Brazil associated with the Brazilian Association of Shopkeepers of Shopping (ALSHOP), retail sales in shopping centers grew only three percent this holiday season. However some good news is that online sales grew by 25 percent according to the organization’s data.

Shopping center in Recife Brazil, Brazil, Brazil News
Shopping center in Recife Brazil, photo by Lais Castro/Wikimedia Creative Commons License.

For shopping centers, when considered the growth for 2014 sales in the same amount of stores as last year, the result was negative or stable compared to 2014.

“One reason for [any] sales growth was the increase in the number of malls in the country. The projections were growth of 4.5 percent for Christmas, but [we] only got three percent. Excluding the new stores, there was no growth,” said the president of ALSHOP, Nabil Sahyoun told Agência Brasil.

According to him, sales in 2014 were affected by the difficulty of obtaining credit, particularly for women of lower income, higher interest rates, the rise of the dollar that generated price increase in various retail segments, the high inflation made people less likely to shop.

There are also uncertainty about the economic measures to be taken next year, high taxes and reducing tax incentives on industrialized products, and products purchases of products made abroad have a lower price than those made domestically.

However e-commerce is expected to have earned R$3.85 billion in sales, which represents growth of 25 percent compared with the same period last year. According to ALSHOP, the forecast is that between November 15th and December 24th, there were 10.3 million orders over the Internet.

Data from ALSHOP shows that the perfume and cosmetics segment performed best in Christmas 2014, with actual sales ten percent higher than in 2014. Clothing registered an increase of 8.5 percent in sales compared to Christmas last year, and the footwear industry had sales 9.5 percent higher.

Even so the end-of-year results were a disappointment for shopping centers, and Sahyoun added “The year was not good for shopping centers because the World Cup resulted in fewer days of work and billing. The rolezinhos also closed some malls and the expectation of the elections was also detrimental to sales,” analyzed Sahyoun.

While sales increased 8.5 percent in shopping malls from 2011 to 2012, there was only an estimated five percent rise in sales in 2013’s holiday season. Last year the data was taken from 6,700 retailers who make up the association.

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