SAO PAULO, April 10 (Reuters) - Brazilian apparel retailer Lojas Riachuelo SA, controlled by Guararapes Confecções SA , will launch its e-commerce division later this month, the company said on Monday, as a way to boost sales during the country’s worst recession in over a century.
Riachuelo has invested 28 million reais ($9 million) in the online unit, which will sell all 15,000 items available in its brick and mortar stores, it said in a statement.
Online channels have helped rival Brazilian apparel retailer Lojas Renner SA outperform the sector in recent years.
Riachuelo’s late arrival to e-commerce has allowed the company to design a business model more likely to succeed, online head Jonas Ferreira said in the statement, noting that e-commerce will be as integrated as possible with the chain’s 291 stores.
Online retailers have been outperforming traditional brick and mortar chains in Brazil, raising sales 7.4 percent in nominal terms in 2016 from 2015 while order volumes were roughly flat, according to data from consultancy Ebit.
Sales volumes at traditional retailers fell 6.2 percent over the same period, according to national statistics agency IBGE.
$1 = 3.1359 reais Reporting by Paula Arend Laier; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Richard Chang