By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With less than 24 hours to go before the start of the 2018 World Cup, Brazilians and foreigners in Brazil are wondering where to watch the games and what will be open and closed during the days Brazil plays. Retailers are optimistic that sales will increase, despite the different time zone and the country’s economic woes.
“Sales of televisions should grow and supermarkets will benefit because people will buy more food and drink to watch games with friends and family. So, beer, chips, popcorn, BBQ and the like tend to have a strong increase in consumption,” says Alencar Burti, president of the Commercial Association of São Paulo (ACSP).
For Burti although during Brazil’s games the number of customers is expected to fall substantially, this does not necessarily represent a loss. “As this is already expected, consumers schedule themselves by anticipating or postponing their purchases,” says the executive.
According to a survey conducted by the National Shop Owners Association (CNDL) 73 percent of retailers say they will maintain normal working hours, about fifteen percent said that shop hours will be reduced and seven percent say they will adopt extended hours.
For Helio Ferraz, Vice-President of the Commercial Association of Rio de Janeiro (ACRJ), some retailers in the state are opting to open during the mornings when there is a Brazil game in the afternoon and open late on days when Brazil plays during the morning hours. “It’s no use opening the stores if the customers are at home. ”
In South America’s largest business city, São Paulo, some businesses are finding ways to keep employees happy and working. “There are stores that installed several televisions for employees to watch the games,” Marcel Solimeo, economist at the São Paulo Commercial Association (ACSP) told R7 news website.
Most offices and public agencies have decided to allow employees to leave early when Brazil plays in the afternoons and arrive late when the country’s Seleção plays in the mornings.
Even the country’s Supreme Court has changed its schedule to work around the games, with employees and Supreme Court Justices only working in the afternoon on June 22nd, when Brasil goes against Costa Rica and in the morning, on June 27th, when Brazil faces Serbia.
The court however only issued the altered schedule, for the first phase of the competition, and will only release the schedule for the other game days if Brazil is able to pass on the second and subsequent phases.