There were months of madness for partners from Cornershop and in particular his co-founder, Juan Pablo Cuevas (JPC); and the general director of Walmart Chile, Horacio Barbeito (HB). In September they made the acquisition of the most successful local company for the last time, which brought them "many jokes". But both are happy and work hard to generate synergies that allow the full potential of what was called the business year.
What happened to the companies after the purchase ad?
-JPC: We did not prepare for the impact it had. What we notice most is all the attention that was put. We have been invited to many places that we have not previously invited. And the truth is that the transaction must still be approved, so in more practical terms, it has not happened much. We continue to work as we have worked and everything remains as well. We hope that it will soon be approved and we can see the first fruits of cooperation.
-HB: It was atypical to other acquisitions, not only the company did in the past, but other types of companies. We made a business deal first, we had the opportunity to know each other as companies. In Enade, Juan Pablo started to know that, cooperating and later giving way to this marriage and I think that in that sense was very positive, since in our first investment in Chile, which was D & S, one gets and then starts to work. In this case we met and then we made the announcement of the acquisition. This second commitment to investing in Chile with greater security, knowing us, having begun to work synergies the truth that was very positive and completed the valuable offer. We quickly realized that Cornershop needs our stores and our supply chain to give a last mile of excellence and we need Cornershop to complete our offer in this service not only for sale, but also after sales. I think it's super natural food and having a business deal has given us the opportunity to know each other before specifying this. I think that was fundamental and put a good foundation on how we will work in the future.
What happened within the companies with the announcement?
-HB: It was positive. It has helped a lot to know before. In fact Juan Pablo, Óscar (Hjertonsson) and Daniel (Undurraga) were at our annual shareholder meeting last year when we only explored the business agreement. Inside Walmart Cornershop, it is seen as disturbing, ready, good and that the sum of the two will be better than individuality.
-JPC: for us it was a terrible news. The people inside have taken it with surprise and be honest with some fears, but with time they noticed the tremendous opportunity that is to continue to do what we have done independently and with full support from the world's largest companies. The humans are super motivated.
How do you see the efficiency of e-commerce?
-HB: I believe that what is happening in some geographic areas is that our offer of value in store, our offer of choices and the value that Cornershop adds to this customer for home delivery in 90 minutes, is cohabiting. When we see that ecosystem working, we realize that it is not a business of the future, it is a business of the present. We have these options for a client, who is now much more entitled and informed and have already accepted this way to buy in the current. So, what remains for the future is to continue to grow.
-JPC: I think there are some things that the client always wanted and always wanted, it is not as it says elsewhere that the client changed and now he wants to take everything home. I believe that anyone ever wanted to bring some kind of product in some circumstance to their home, only now with technology and new developments. I also think that it is very certain that what happens is that the consumer sends and what he prefers or chooses what companies should do, must adapt to what consumers prefer.
-HB: There is another very important concept that has brought digital transformation, which is customization. The business trade, 50 years ago, was a person who came to the inn and one attended one after one. The self service began to accumulate this relationship with customers and now we almost return to one-to-one. We will customize an experience that began to be massive. These customer options buy as he wants and even as Juan Pablo says with him by sending, there is something that brings a breakdown to the seller, which I think is wonderful for competition and for the client.
What synergies or works could you do together?
-JPC: At the beginning, we have tried to do this with everyone. We are always looking for optimizations and efficiencies to finally give better service. In particular, in the year and a half that we have collaborated with Leader, we have tried to move things forward, but it is also a premise – because we use the camera – that does not interrupt the customers, so we have to make enough improvements. So we've done things like trying to have a lot more tailored to the customer's usual consumer consumptions in Cornershop, which is very important, because when people can buy from home or work or car, they no longer have the time limitations I had in other times. Who makes the products start buying at different times, then we have to agree with these things and how the rooms work.
-HB: For example, when the buyers enter a room and begin to "pick up" the products, we can know in real time, what are the temporary steps we had previously known at the end of the day. This is real information that makes us react more quickly, to make the products faster in the sales room and we sell more, Cornershop sells more and the supplier of these products sells more. So I think there's a super fast synergy there.
But then, one of the biggest challenges that have been sold, is the peaks and valleys, and as Juan Pablo said, in the morning, a shop could be very calm, where people mostly ordered things and now there may be 100 merchants in order to put orders, then it is An intense schedule, which can take intensity as well in the afternoon, in which it was very difficult to maximize the sale because there was a point also marked. So I think that, finally, this can lead to a change in the way we maximize the assets of our stores and inventories. I think there are good possibilities to continue synergy.
Is there a store that has already changed its behavior?
-HB: Good luck is a good example, it's the main shop where this onmicanal coexists. A shop that has many physical trips, is the number one store in a number of buyers in Cornershop, it is the store that is best selling in Pickup and 30% of the sale is heavenly. These levels of online market penetration are China's levels. We say it's the most multi-channel store in Chile
Is that repeated in more stores?
-HB: That's what has led us to go ahead more in this relationship that we have with Cornershop. We believe that the future is not only in stores or just online. It is a client that has different possibilities for different purchasing missions.
-JPC: In the world there is a lot of consensus that the shops will probably change a bit, they will adapt to this new reality because they may not sell the same products, the same programs and the same customers, but they will continue to exist, they may be much more Given experience, knowing new products. In the end, one must be ready for different clients and different uses.
Are there synergies between Lider.cl and Cornershop?
-HB: At the moment the great synergy is the whole channel, to be able to complete the supply of physical stores with the step, the service at home in less than 90 minutes. That is the great synergy. After the operation is approved, the team of Juan Pablo is very good about the development of technology and maybe we can explore doing things together, but nowadays there are many things in the room in the way we choose the products, perhaps try a dedicated area to the Cornershop Merchant, where a large part of the products in the basket has already been prepared so that the pickeo is faster and finally, why not, it can improve the promise and go down from 90 minutes to 60 and then up to 45, I do not You know in Walmart China the customer's promise is a shipment in 30 minutes. Obviously, it is a smaller luck and the choice is made of stores called dark shops, closer to the crucial points of the cities. The model is different, they are ideas that can fly.
-JPC: The Cornershop mission is to deliver products from your favorite stores as fast as possible and everything that helps us, we will try to do. Closing to any alternative would be stupid. And if one day we can cooperate, whether with a Leader or any of the other stores we have in the market, we will continue this way.
-HB: Our goal is to save customers, so that they can live better. And the clients have been a few years ago, who have embodied the idea of time, will make them save money to our customers so that they can live better, saving time, I think it's the mother of all synergies.
"More than thinking about new markets, we are thinking about consolidating the service"
How was the year for Cornershop?
-JPC: short, very short. It was a terrible year. In fact we are over young people as a company, we have only three years and 4 months, then they have intensified every year. We grew up quickly and this year was the best year. We have just launched a new product for all small businesses, so they can enter Conershop and self-manage. If you have a shop or neighborhood, you can enter the Cornershop Store and place the name of your store, your logo, your address, upload your catalog and start selling. The idea is able to reach all the small merchants who want to receive service in one hour and a half or an hour in the places.
Have you left?
-JPC: We are white, we have 40 of these companies and we are more eligible because we're trying everything to work well. The idea in the future is that stores can go alone.
-HB: We are very excited and praised what they have done because it reflects much of what we do with SMEs. There are SMEs, who can sell their products from Arica to Punta Arenas thanks to the transmission in our distribution, which is enhanced with our infrastructure. We have small neighborhood companies that have good products and can reach everything from Santiago through Cornershop, which otherwise would not have arrived. They are examples that make the nutrition with our company really very positive. The more companies that join this marketplace will win the platform more.
Do you look at other markets?
-HB: Clearly our decision with Cornershop had to consolidate it in two very important markets, in which it is Chile and Mexico today, where we see the growth and the opportunity is huge. We are very proud that we are investing in a company of Chilean entrepreneurs, to finally use this type of platform in other markets. Once the transaction is approved there, we will rate it well, but meanwhile, as Juan Pablo said, it was a short year, but obviously the growth is excellent.
-JPC: Since we left Cornershop we thought the focus was very important. We started in Chile and Mexico and decided that we would work until in Mexico and Chile, we hope to win and until we have a very good service. We still have a lot of way there. More than thinking about new markets, we are now thinking of consolidating the service, consolidating the product and doing it very well. We are very pleased with what we have achieved, but we still lack a lot of things.
-HB: The day when we signed the agreement, we were in this same room, and the preoccupation of "Chaq" (nickname by Juan Pablo Cuevas) was that the impression of the news brought many orders to him and could not fulfill his promise. This is about the quality of the Cornershop administration and founders but also the focus on the service, which is so noticeable that it is first service and then growth. I think this is very commendable, because they are both successful at this moment: a great service, with very good rates of growth.
How is the Cornershop merchant?
-JPC: it's quite different. With all these technology platforms, super flexible work, in the end you will reach all the people. On the one hand, there are young people who are students who use their weekend or days that do not have classes or last graduates. On the other hand, there are all dads and moms who have more children and have more time, so they want to go back to work. The third group is already a group that sees Cornershop or these platforms as a source of first income or wants to complete it with its work. They are people who work full-time or have another job and complement. There are also more adults.
-HB: some old people have come to pass the order to my house. He told me they were retired and had more than 70 years. She knew where the supermarket was, and he helped her with heavy things. "We wake up a few luces, we're doing 4 or 5 hours a day and we're funny crazy," he told me. It is not a huge group, but it can finally be a great opportunity for those who still feel the energy to work. Today it can be a small group, but great for tomorrow.