SÃO PAULO, SP (FOLHAPRESS) – Livraria Cultura closed the Fnac books and electronics store on Avenida Paulista last weekend and marked the exit of the city network of São Paulo.
The Paulista unit can be considered as a milestone in the worldwide expansion of the French network over the past decade. It was the 102nd store in the world. It was inaugurated in 2003 and brought the concept of megaloja for the cultural and recreational segment to Brazil in a dimension that is still little to see in the country.
With 4,500 square meters occupied with books, CDs, DVDs, electronic and photographic equipment and stationery, as well as a concert room, with a full program of presentations in the early years, it also has the optimistic expectations of the group with Brazil.
At that time, the director responsible for local operations even predicted that Brazil had space for fifteen FNac units.
The network has 12 stores, now there is only one store in Goiânia (GO).
Other stores recently closed in the capital were the Fnac in the Pinheiros district, opened in 1999 and the first in Brazil, and the Morumbi shopping center.
At the shop door there was the warning that consumers could continue to be served on the company's website.
Livraria Cultura said that closing units follows the company's strategic planning to maintain high-performance units, to increasingly improve the customer experience in the store and to grow significantly in e-commerce.
The publishing market is suffering from the crisis, which has increased in recent months.
However, the closure process of the activities of the Fnac network in Brazil started almost two years ago, at the end of 2016.
At that time, when the French mother presented the financial results to investors, she announced that she had started looking for a partner for the subsidiary in Brazil. The document already indicated that the group could withdraw from the country, which did not have the expected return.
In July 2017, Livraria Cultura announced the purchase of the Brazilian operation.
The French multinational already had 12 stores in seven states. The Brazilian network, in turn, 18 bookstores in the country.
The takeover surprised the investors. The reports on the market were that Culture, the third in the book trade segment in Brazil, had financial problems. For years considered the best payer on the market, since 2016 Cultura delayed payments to publishers or "renegotiated", a term used by partners to comment on the topic in interviews.
Referring to the sale of books during most of the first decade of the 2000s, Fnac had given priority to electronics.
The French network, however, remained an important source of income for comic strip publishers and works in the segment of children and young people, especially books of the so-called nerd world.
A few months after the acquisition, Cultura lowered the Fnac network by half, while maintaining six stores, which were then closed.