Chilli Beans, leader in the eyewear market in Brazil and the largest franchise in such sector in Latin America, gets to the finals of the International Highlight Award thanks to its successful strategic restructuring in the global market.
This is the first edition of the award promoted by Franchising Brasil — a sector project for the internationalization of Brazilian franchise brands carried out by means of a partnership between the Brazilian Association of Franchising (ABF) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil). The purpose of such award is to recognize chains that, by participating in initiatives developed by the program destined for promotion and qualification, have started or achieved a consistent internationalization process of their brands from 2018 to 2020.
Chilli Beans started operating abroad in 2006 with an owned shop in the United States and has a successful international trajectory: today, Chilli Beans has 50 franchises around the globe, in countries like Colombia, Mexico and Kuwait. The global expansion, however, was never strategically planned.
In 2018, the chain decided to rethink its global presence and started a brand restructuring and repositioning process that was almost revolutionary. The changes began with the hiring of a new international operations manager, Tatiane Vita dos Santos.
“First, the company’s strategy was to search for professionals experienced in international operations, but they didn’t know the in-house operations of the company. The new leaders had a technical perspective and a view from the inside, so they knew what we had to do to start growing worldwide”, explains Tatiane.
In 2018, the process consisted of a deep diagnosis of the international operations department including visits to each country and a thorough investigation of all aspects of the foreign units. Focus groups were created in such countries so that the company could understand the view of customers, potential customers and non-customers. Also, Chilli Beans carried out a detailed study of inventory, financial analysis, human resources, understanding of locations of points, size of back office, among other aspects deemed as crucial for the brand’s success.
In 2019, with the information collected in hands, the brand started its restructuring. In Products, Chilli Beans rethought its merchandise and made monthly readjustments to its collections, launches and visual merchandising materials, so that they would be more appropriate for each country. Another important action was the creation of an international inventory and the possibility of giving the franchisees the chance of pre-ordering the main collections.
“In 2020, we put into practice a well-defined expansion plan, including renovation of old points of sale and new designs for shops and kiosks in the foreign market. Also, we focused on a review of the profile of franchisees with active search for the required money”, says Tatiana.
She also explains that, based on the company’s new active expansion view, the department implemented new channels, such as: e-commerce; market place; social selling; expansion of the portfolio with the inclusion of prescription glasses; wholesale and even distribution and potential collaboration with the second major player in the eyewear global market.
“We believe that knowing where we are going is crucial for us to have the persistency and resilience required for a successful venture. We are now beginning to reap the rewards of closed deals that will be important for our growth and future relevance in the global market. And we continue going forward, because we are sure all the hard work we have been doing in the past three years will be fruitful for the brand”, she completes.
About Chilli Beans
Chilli Beans was born in 1997 in an alternative fashion fair in São Paulo (Mercado Mundo Mix). The purpose of the brand was to reinvent the traditional way of selling sunglasses and taking the product out of the display counter cabinets. The idea was to bring the concept of self-service to retail shops, displaying products on shelves where customers could touch them, try them on and have fun. The brand changed the relationship of customers with the eyewear sector and allowed them to have many pieces, one for each special occasion.
The only brand in the world to launch 40 skus of sunglasses, 20 skus of frames for prescription lenses and watches per week, Chilli Beans stands out because it is a mono-brand store that offers high-quality, fast-fashion, collectible products at a fair price.
About the International Highlight Award
The purpose of the award is to recognize chains that, by participating in initiatives developed by the program destined for promotion and qualification, have started or achieved a consistent internationalization process of their brands.
The award ceremony will be announced soon and three franchises will be the winners in the general category and one chain will be the winner in the Strategy and Consolidation category, which was created because of the high quality of the cases submitted to Apex-Brasil and ABF for appreciation. The criteria to be evaluated by the judging panel composed of members of the Franchising Brasil Management Board are: complexity of sector and market; operationalization process; impact of case; innovation of the initiative; and relationship with the participation in the Program.
About Franchising Brasil
Franchising Brasil is a sector project carried out by means of a partnership between the Brazilian Association of Franchising (ABF) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) for the internationalization of Brazilian franchise brands and promotion of their businesses abroad. The initiative was developed to promote this business model that is well recognized in the main international markets.