Understanding Consumer Behavior

A way to Define Strategic Actions in the Retail Apparel Market

Luiz Fernando Goes
Gouvêa de Souza & MD, Brazil.

Sonia Bittar
Research and Market Studies Division, Gouvêa de Souza & MD, Brazil.


The brothers Clemens and August established C&A, one of the world's largest apparel retail chains, in Holland in 1841. The union of the first letters of their names resulted in the brand name of C&A.

In 1976 C&A opened its first store in Brazil and currently holds more than 90 points of purchase in the entire country.

C&A's stores offer many apparel categories and some of these categories support several brands, initially defined to attract different lifestyles.

The Brazilian textile and fashion market faces a very unique situation. For the middle and low income segments, several national and international retail chains (C&A, JC Penney – using the local brand Renner, Riachuelo, Pernambucanas, Marisa, Lojas Americanas) in addition to large hypermarket chains (WalMart, Carrefour and Extra) as well as important regional apparel and shoe chains, compete for consumers. Circa 160,000 independent small and middle-sized shops join this universe, as well as the informal street sector and door-to-door sellers.