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May 8, 2009

BRAZIL: CBD will defend itself from foreign competition

Brazilian retailer Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (CBD) will use "the best brand image" in the country to fight off competition from Carrefour and Wal-Mart, the World Retail Congress was told today (8 May).

By Dean Best

Brazilian retailer Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (CBD) will use “the best brand image” in the country to fight off competition from Carrefour and Wal-Mart, the World Retail Congress was told today (8 May).

CBD, better known through its trading name Grupo Pao de Acucar, operates just under 600 stores throughout Brazil.

Its banners include the upmarket Pao de Acucar chain and Extra hypermarkets, which CBD uses to compete on price with Wal-Mart.

Executive director Hugo Bethlem said a series of consumer surveys had shown that the retailer had “the best brand image in Brazil”. He said: “It’s something to be proud of.”

Bethlem insisted the company’s work in building a business that resonated with Brazilian consumers had started since its inception 60 years ago.

“What we do is how we will survive in this very challenging market for the next 60 years,” Bethlem said.

CBD’s annual profits jumped by almost 42% last year to BRL298.6m on the back of a 21% rise in sales to BRL18.03bn.

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