Industry Leader Almeida Junior Increases Investments in the State
The Group bets on innovation and expects an expansion of all its shopping centers in Santa Catarina
In modern life’s quick pace, time, which is increasingly scarce, became one of the most important and sought resources in our daily lives. Time to exercise, to take care of our health, to spend time with our family and to have more quality of life.
Much more than a purchase and consumption destination, today’s shopping is seen by users as a leisure option that provides these benefits, by gathering varied options safely, in one place: food, movie theaters, children’s play areas, exhibitions, artistic attractions, among other activities.
Even after the challenging year the companies faced with the pandemic onset, in 2020 the segment has already picked up on growth and expects to open 13 new developments in the county this year alone, as suggests the data from Abrasce (Brazilian Shopping Centers Association). The number of openings, if consolidated, will be 85% higher than the one registered last year and greater than the 11 new units in 2019.
Established in 1980, in Blumenau, by the businessman and CEO of the company, Jaimes Almeida Junior, the Almeida Junior group is an example of this industry’s boost and today it is the largest shopping centers company in Southern Brazil, with a 71% market share in Santa Catarina.
Since 2007, according to the CEO, the company has focused its investments in the State, opening five of its six malls throughout the past 14 years. It has also expanded the Balneário Shopping during this period.
“The group has always been ahead of the main innovations in the shopping centers market, of architectonic concepts against the deployed technologies. The best example is AJPlace, our pioneering marketplace that we have launched last year and that has come to consolidate Almeida Junior’s shopping centers digitalization”, Almeida Junior highlights.
The E-commerce Bet
Since last year, AJPlace continues to grow and offers more and more amenities to its customers, counting with over 150,000 products from 550 national and foreign brands. In addition to the broad range and curatorship of products, AJPlace has recently launched a new amenity to its customers: 2-hour delivery in a 20km radius from group Almeida Junior’s shopping centers. With a robust schedule for the upcoming months, the group’s marketplace is expected to bring more surprises.
“By gathering 71% share of the State’s shopping centers, we get, through the sales stream of our units, a better understanding on Santa Catarina consumers’ behavior and we can better service them”, Jaimes Almeida Junior highlights.
The Brazilian e-commerce has increased 73.88% last year alone, according to the MCC-ENET index developed by the Brazilian Chamber of Digital Economy Metrics Committee (camara-e.net) in partnership with Neotrust | Purchase & Trust Movement.
Jobs and Income Creation
The group’s investments also pump up the State’s economy. According to the company’s CEO, due to its hegemony in Santa Catarina, Almeida Junior naturally became the entrance door for big national and international brands and put the State in these companies’ sights. “This translates into a virtuous economic cycle, creating sales, jobs and income for state residents”, he points out.
In the Florianópolis Metropolitan region, the group opened the Continente Shopping eight years ago, the biggest one in the State. “We brought to Continente’s consumers and also to the island’s residents the best in gastronomy, entertainment and major and satellite brands that changed the lives of many consumers”, Almeida Junior says.
On-site and On-line Integration
Regarding the whole experience gained throughout the years in this industry, Jaimes Almeida Junior assesses that, for the future, the company brings past lessons and legacy, aware that consumers change their habits quickly. “Our goal is to follow this up swiftly. Almeida Junior has always been one step ahead when it comes to trends. We closely follow major world markets and we always intend to surprise our consumers with positive and lasting experiences in our malls”, he evaluates.
For the next seven years, Almeida Junior intends to expand all of the network’s malls starting on 2022, with the expansion of Balneário Shopping. The aim is to expand all developments, one per year, starting on 2023.
Consumer Industry Trends
For Almeida Junior’s group CEO, consumption is crucial and the company intends to always be ahead of consumer habits and technology models to continuously support consumers in a quick and efficient manner.
He assesses that virtual tools arrived to support and drive the shopping center commerce and industry. “The increasing stream of people and consumers that go to shopping centers and physical stores will never end. Consumers are humans, they always crave for socializing, trying new clothes, getting in touch, gathering with friends, talking walks with their families and enjoying gastronomy and entertainment experiences within shopping centers. What is happening right now is technology brings more comfort, access and solutions to consumers’ wishes. Online depends on the off-line”, Almeida Junior ends.
About Almeida Junior
With six shopping centers in Santa Catarina that add up to 223,000 m2 and GLA (Gross Leasable Area) and 1,579 stores, the company is present in the State’s most economically important regions, which is Brazil’s sixth largest economy and has the largest per capita consumption in the country.
The company opened its first shopping center in 1993, in Blumenau, the Newmark Shopping. In 2008, Almeida Junior decided to invest solely in Santa Catarina to became the State’s leader company and, in three years, it has opened three other malls: Garten Shopping (2010), Norte Shopping (2011), and Continente Shopping (2012).
Almeida Junior is a family company whose CEO is its founder since the beginning.
Group Malls and Opening Years
Neumarkt Shopping (Blumenau) – 1993
Balneário Shopping (Balneário Camboriú) – 2007
Garten Shopping (Joinville) – 2010
Norte Shopping (Blumenau) – 2011
Continente Shopping (Florianópolis Metropolitan region) – 2012
Expansão do Balneário Shopping – 2015
Nações Shopping (Criciúma) – 2016