Chapter . Retail for the Poor

Companies as savvy as Sears and Wal-Mart have sought to do business in Brazil, but have failed. Casas Bahia, though, successfully developed a model that serves the “bottom of the pyramid” in that country. The company succeeded in serving the large, lucrative market represented by the poor through innovation and the right financial approach.

Casas Bahia is a family-owned business started more than 50 years ago by Samuel Klein. After surviving two years in a Nazi concentration camp, Klein left his homeland in 1952 to start a new life in Brazil. To support his family, he sold blankets, bed linens, and bath towels door to door in São Caetano do Sul. That business has transformed through the years into the largest retail ...

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