RIO DE JANEIRO – Thousands of shoppers jammed Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Supermarkets this Friday to take advantage of discounts up to 60 percent – as if it were Black Friday – in the midst of an economic crisis that has forced the government to declare itself in a state of financial emergency.
Hundreds of people lined up before dawn at the doors of the Guanabara Supermarkets in the city of Rio de Janeiro and its metropolitan area, in order to be the first to pour in Friday morning and grab some of the more than 2,000 products at their knocked-down sale prices.
According to the company, 1 million people are expected to flock into the supermarkets between Friday and Sunday, a mass of consumers that will increase by 70 percent over the 42 days of promotions celebrating Guanabara’s anniversary.
The big turnout of customers has already led to pushing and shoving, tumults and fights in some of the supermarkets, as well as long lines at the cash registers.
The supermarket chain invested some 30 million reais ($9.5 million) to stockpile the products needed to meet shoppers’ demands.
More than 21,000 people will work daily at the 25 establishments, including the 4,000 hired specifically for these promotion days.
The company also boosted to 30,000 the number of shopping carts, 5,000 more than last year, while 1,100 trucks are making daily deliveries to each store to replace the products flying off the shelves.
This year’s promotion coincides with the terrible economic crisis Rio de Janeiro state is suffering from an unemployment rate of 15.6 percent, the second highest jobless rate in the country, surpassed only by Pernambuco with 18.8 percent, according to government statistics.
Last August, Rio de Janeiro lost 3,400 steady jobs, raising the number of unemployed to 1.3 million in the state.
Big discounts on the occasion of the Guanabara Supermarkets’ anniversary have been offered for the last 24 years and are known as “Brazil’s real Black Friday.”