My associate from San Paulo, Brazil Bernard Jeger translated this article from Valor Econômico. The Brazilian market offers an excellent export opportunity for U.S. franchisors and retailers.
"The Brazilian buyers are invading the United States this Christmas season, a welcome boost for U.S. retailers facing a sluggish economy. Armed with a strong currency, easier access to credit and a seemingly inexhaustible appetite for shopping, Brazilians have deposed richer nations like the United Kingdom, as the biggest spenders in foreign key U.S. markets, like New York and Florida . The Brazilians have become the most profitable international clients in Florida, after spending $ 1 billion in the first six months of the year, an increase of 61% over 2010 and more than double the second largest spender, the British. About 700,000 Brazilians are visiting New York this year, more than double 2009. This is less than the total of British and German, but Brazilians are spending more than two groups together, officials said.
"The Brazilian consumers are now high on the list of all retailers, and if not, they are on top of their wish lists," said Fred Dixon, senior vice president of tourism development for NYC & Co., authority tourism in the city. The organization has lobbied the U.S. Congress to expedite the visa process for Brazilians, and eventually end up with his demands. The new global influence of the Brazilian buyer reflects the rise of Latin America's largest economy, while the U.S. and Europe remain mired in crisis. A decade of monetary stability and good commodity prices helped lift millions out of poverty. For many newly classified as middle class in Brazil, a shopping spree in the U.S. is an important rite of passage.
But the biggest reason for the Brazilians in the U.S. is to buy everything from the iPad from Apple to the Polo shirts cost half the price charged in Brazil. With high taxes, rising inflation and an overvalued currency, the relatively closed economy of Brazil has become an extremely expensive to make or buy products - not necessarily a good thing for the long-term growth. The Brazilians buying, saving both in the U.S. instead of Brazil that it often covers spending on the passage and hotel bills.
But in Brazil, not everyone feels so good that the Brazilians travel to the U.S. to shop. The President Rousseff has tried to stem the rise of reality, with limited results. In recent months, the government announced several stimulus packages and other measures to make local manufacturing more competitive and retail. To pay for them, Brazil has also established a tax of 6% for credit card purchases abroad. Until now little has worked. The currency fell somewhat, but remains 25% higher than it was in early 2009. The Brazilians are on track to spend 60% more abroad than last year, which was a record. Along the way, the U.S. consulate in Sao Paulo has become the busiest in processes for the visa."
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