SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc met in Brazil last week with an array of manufacturers to discuss plans to stock and sell products from consumer electronics to perfume in the country, according to two people that took part in the meetings.
FILE PHOTO: An Amazon.com Inc driver stands next to an Amazon delivery truck in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on May 21, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
The move would take the U.S. e-commerce giant beyond its current role in Brazil as a marketplace for third-party sellers, representing a major advance into the biggest retail market in Latin America.
Amazon representatives in Brazil declined to comment on the talks, adding that the company had held â€œhundreds of meetings with potential vendors and suppliers about its business in Brazil and possible future plansâ€� in the past five years.
Amazon has waded slowly into Brazilâ€™s complex and highly competitive online retail market, starting with e-book sales in 2012, adding physical books two years later and offering third-party sales of electronics in October.
Yet the company appears to be accelerating its expansion this year as the Brazilian economy exits a painful recession, stiffening competition for local rivals such as Mercado Libre Inc, B2w Cia Digital, Via Varejo SA and Magazine Luiza SA.
Last month, Reuters reported that Amazon was looking to lease a large warehouse just outside of Sao Paulo.
E-commerce accounts for around 5 percent of Brazilâ€™s roughly $300 billion retail market â€” about half its share in the United States â€” but has doubled in the past four years and is forecast to keep growing annually at a double-digit pace.
Amazon representatives, including senior executive Ticiana MÃ¡rtyres, told several dozen potential suppliers gathered at the Hotel Blue Tree Morumbi last week that the company planned to use its own transportation and call centers in Brazil, according to one of the sources.
â€œThey said they were going to buy directly from the manufacturers and resell,â€� said the person, who requested anonymity due to the confidential terms of the talks.
Amazon said it would store goods at its facilities in Greater Sao Paulo, the source added.
Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Writing by Brad Haynes; Editing by Christian Plumb and Rosalba O’Brien