around Brazil

Photo by Ari Gabel


in the U.S.A.
Os números não mentem. Nunca antes neste país se viajou tanto para fazer compras nos Estados Unidos. Há até quem garanta que sai no lucro a cada Bob Moser
Shoppers browse a Reebok outlet store in Florida.


The number of Brazilians visiting the United States is growing faster than any other foreign tourist group and they’re spending more money there than any other group as well, eager to burn their hard-earned reais1 on a long list of luxury items that are considered steals2 in the U.S. compared to the prices they’re sold for back home. While shopping options in Brazil have improved along with the country’s economic success, Brazilians pay some of the highest taxes in the world on consumer goods3. And in the interest of protecting national industries and

domestic brands4, taxes on most imported goods are two to three times higher than a Brazilian-made equivalent. Those taxes can make up anywhere from 30 percent to 80 percent of a product’s final price in Brazil. The often enormous difference in price between identical goods in each country is motivating more Brazilians to hold off on purchasing5 new sneakers, electronics, clothing and toys until they can visit the U.S. “I go to buy tech things, computers, the iPad, and products there are just better quality,” said Davi Itinoseki, 35,

1 eager to burn... reais - ansiosos para “torrar” seus reais ganhos duramente. steals - roubos. goods mercadorias. domestic brands marcas comerciais nacionais. to hold off on purchasing segurar a compra.

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nineteen 19

Savings Pay off Plane Ticket
With a plane ticket to Florida costing around US$1,250 (R$ 2,100), money saved on buying the following items could theoretically recover the cost of your flight: ITEM Playstation 3 160GB iPod Nano 16GB Reebok Zig tennis shoes Victoria’s Secret lotion Barry Sears with (5 bottles) DanielaMorandi
(see box above). Two Men’s polo shirts (basic style)

US price US$300 US$230 US$95 US$30 US$30

Brazil price R$2.000 R$600 R$400 R$150 R$100

Savings in US R$1,496 R$214 R$241 R$100
Orlando Premium Outlets

courtesy of

Note: currency converted at US$1 to R$1.68, various stores in U.S. and Brazil referenced for average prices


From top to bottom: electronics bought in the U.S. offer some of the best savings compared to Brazil; more Brazilians now have access to international credit cards; quality clothing at low prices is a favorite of Brazilians shopping abroad.

6 7 8 savings - dinheiro economizado. whenever - sempre que. ranked seventh among countries esteve em sétimo lugar dentre os países. growth - em crecimento. so far in 2010 - até aqui em 2010. to skyrocket crescer vertiginosamente. second only to the Chinese - perdendo somente para os chineses. an average of - uma média de...

9 10 11 12


a businessman who visits the U.S. multiple times a year for work and at least twice a year for leisure. He has often brought enough items back for family and friends that the total savings6 covered the cost of his airline ticket. Itinoseki has a good job and can buy anything he wants here in Brazil, yet he still waits for his next visit to the States whenever7 possible for more expensive items. “I can simply save more money there, and use this money on other things in life.” Brazil ranked seventh among countries8 that sent tourists to the U.S. in 2009 with 893,000, but at 16 percent more than in 2008, Brazil was U.S. tourism’s no. 1 growth9 country last year, according to data from the U.S. Travel and Tourism Industry. So far in 201010, 40 percent more Brazilians are visiting the States than in 2009 – leading all countries once again – and between now and 2014 Brazilian visitors to the U.S. are expected to skyrocket11 113 percent, second only to the Chinese12. Major cities in Florida like Orlando and Miami remain the most popular leisure destinations for Brazilians, and while there they are spending an average13 of US$4,800 per annual visitor, more than any other foreign tourist. Outlet malls in the U.S. are favored by Brazilians because of their discounted

prices on brand-name goods14. Premium Outlets, owner of outlet malls15 across the country, is now hiring customer service staff16 that speak Portuguese and posting bilingual signs at its two Orlando malls, in response to data showing double-digit growth17 of Brazilian tour groups in Florida over the past two years. When 30-year-old Lika Osugui’s boss recently told her she needed to visit California for business, the first thing that came to her mind (following job responsibilities, of course) was how much Victoria’s Secret body lotion she’d be able to buy. “You just can’t find it easily here, and it’s way too expensive18,” said Osugui, a biologist from São Paulo. “There you can buy six bottles for US$30, and here one bottle is that price.” Osugui loaded her suitcase19 during the five-day visit with everything she could imagine her family needing in the near future: popular brand-name clothes and tennis shoes for one-third their Brazilian price, sports equipment for her husband, high-end makeup20, unique foods and cooking supplies21. With foreign markets now much more accessible to Brazil’s growing middle class via cheaper airline tickets and easier credit access, some question whether a rush to embrace the

bargain of cheap consumer goods is healthy22. “There is a feeling, when high-income groups23 and the Brazilian middle class go to the U.S., that it’s a distinct style of life. They’re saying ‘I can travel abroad anytime I want,’” says Fabio Mariano, professor of consumer behavior at Business School São Paulo. “Unfortunately, our society in Brazil works like that. Tell me what you have, and I can tell you who you are. If you have international products bought in the U.S., it changes how I look at you. Brands here in Brazil represent the personality and lifestyle of a person. It’s the status concept.” Osugui agrees with Mariano, to a degree24. “In most societies it’s important to show you have money to spend on clothes and some superficial things. For me, I like to buy stuff that makes me feel good, and it doesn’t matter if its designer clothes or from a store on the corner where I saw something beautiful,” she said. But if those items Osugui wants are half the price or less in the U.S. compared to Brazil, it’s clear where she’s going to try and spend her money. “I don’t know why some things here in Brazil are so expensive,” Osugui said. “For me, it’s not important where I buy something, just that I like it.”

Pr newswire

From left to right: Outlet malls in Florida have installed bilingual signs and now employ Portuguesespeaking staff; clothing bought abroad doesn’t need to be counted against Brazilian Customs’ spending limits.

14 15 on brand-name goods - em artigos de grife. outlet malls shopping centers, geralmente com lojas de fábrica vendendo diretamente ao consumidor. hiring customer service staff contratando pessoal para atendimento ao cliente. double-digit growth - crescimento de dois dígitos. it’s way too expensive - é muito mais caro. loaded her suitcase - lotou sua mala. high-end makeup maquiagem de primeira linha. unique foods and cooking supplies alimentos e utensílios de cozinha exclusivos. whether a rush... healthy - se uma corrida para aproveitar os preços baratos de bens de consumo é saudável. high-income groups - grupos de classe alta. to a degree - até certo ponto.


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