by Patricia Bittencourt Rudge
- Shipping container are appearing in cool locations around city centers in Brazil, but these aren’t just any metal boxes.
- In 2008, entrepreneur André Krai decided to adapt shipping containers as boutiques selling top brands like Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch and Tommy. The Container Ecology Store flourished, and today has over 75 franchises throughout Brazil and abroad.
- The “container” part of the name is obvious. The “ecology” comes from the fact that all stores use sustainable materials inside and out. For example, the rod on which clothes are hung are repurposed bus handrail. The decking is made of compressed rice husk, and shelves are made from certified forest-friendly wood (Ecodesenvolvimento.org, 31 August 2012).
- The format is also efficient: The multi-container structures can be dismantled and moved elsewhere, and each container shop costs 20% less to build than a conventional one.
- The success of the container format encouraged Krai to explore other options. Two Container Express Hotels are planned to open this November, one in São Paulo and the other in Recife. Eco-container housing is the entrepreneur’s next target (Uol.com.br, 10 July 2012).
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Brazilian consumers want to feel dazzled by their purchases, which is not easy in a market that now has easy access to new products, services and information everyday.
- One way to awaken consumer’s desire is through new business concepts that can provide unique experiences, setting them apart from the general market.