Havan, a company ahead of its time

A Brazilian rising star

Havan, a company ahead of its time

Trailblazing, innovation and commitment arethe foundations of Havan’s success – a Brazilian department store described as‘a modern company ahead of its time’. 

Havan’s story begins in 1986. At the ageof24, entrepreneur Luciano Hang realized that the town of Brusque, deep in thestate of Santa Catarina, was enjoying an economic boom driven by tourists wholiked to shop. 

With his partner, Vanderlei de Limas, he opened a small fabricstore. They came up with the brand, Havan, by combining the Ha from Hang andthe Van from Vanderlei.

Three years after opening, their 45m2 storecouldn’t keep up with the huge customer demand or accommodate its rapidlyexpanding product range. They moved to a larger building which, to this day,houses the company’s head office. In the early 1990s, on a trip to South Korea,Luciano spotted a new market opportunity. 

Taking advantage of new importregulations on foreign products and to meet Brazil’s retail needs, he importedinbulk, fabrics and lowpriced items. Havan, whoopened a store in 1986 with a single employee, has now grown into a companywith 12,000 employees in branches all over Brazil; demonstrating its continuedexpansion.

Impressive figures
Annually, Havan welcomes over 100 millioncustomers; they come to browse more than 100,000 national and imported products– from clothing, appliances, toys and baby/childcare products to technology,tools, household goods and decorations. 

It is Brazil’s onestop shop. Recently, itstarted a new business line – the Havan Viagens travel agency – offeringcustomers even more products and services. Such freedom of consumer choice isrepresented by the Statue of Liberty which sits outside its stores and has becomea symbol for the Havan brand.

After more than 30 years of trading, Havan hasmore than 100 stores, giving it a presence in 15 Brazilian states. "Our storyis built on the dedication and commitment of every employee. 

People who seeHavan as a home from home and who go above and beyond the call of duty in orderto delight their customers. It is this set of attributes — our people, spiritof adventure and courage — that enables Havan to be an amazing retailer,” saysgroup chairman, Luciano Hang.

A successfulpartnership with MDS
The relationship between MDS Brazil and Havanis a timehonouredone. As the number of stores increased, Hang looked for other ways to optimizebusiness potential. His innovative spirit has been instrumental to the brand’ssuccess; always anticipating market demands and introducing new products andservices to clients.

Today, Havan stores, in addition to their100,000 strong extensive product range, offer other services, such as insurancepackages for Extended Warranty, Financial Protection and more recently,Multi-Insurance. Havan’s close relationship with MDS means all work as a team,promoting, running and managing joint campaigns and instore workshops in nearly everycompany outlet and working together to monitor results.

Thepartnership with MDS has continually improved Havan’s results, with aremarkable 191% growth in affinity service sales in the past year. The servicesector now represents a substantial part of the Havan Group’s income, making ita significant contributor to the bottom line.

Since its inception, Havan has embraced socialresponsibility, viewing ‘giving something back to society’ as an important partof its activity. Among Havan’s several environmental and community supportinitiatives (particularly social, cultural and sportsrelated projects) is Troco Solidário(Solidary Penny), where customers are invited to donate the change from theirpurchases. Launched in 2010, the initiative has raised more than R$18 millionwhich has been donated to charities wherever Havan operates.

It also supports the training and professionaldevelopment of younger people through Programa Menor Aprendiz (Young ApprenticeProject) and Projeto Pescar (The Fishing Project).

Menor Aprendiz, a youth apprenticeshipprogramme, is developed through partnership with the National Service forProfessional Apprenticeships (SENAC). Havan trains young people aged 1424, via internships in avariety of company departments, giving them marketable skills. In seven years, 1863young people started their careers with Havan as interns and the companycurrently employs 336 of them. 

Programa Entra 21, something Havan alsosupports, follows a similar employment format. It empowers 300plus young people frompoorer backgrounds to engage with the technology sector. Not only does Havansupport the project with a monthly financial investment, but it also invitessome trainees to join the company.

Programa Entra 21 is funded by SantaCatarina’s state government and the City Council of Blumenau and is alsosupported by local businesses who commit to employing some of the young peopletrained by this programme.

Havan’s future
Havan’s expansion plan includes the opening of100 more megastoresby 2022. "Over the next five years, we’ll do what it took us 31 years toaccomplish. We expect in 2022 to have 25,000 direct employees and 100,000contractors, and we’re going to open in new states and new cities,” saysLuciano.

He concludes: "We’re confident about thefuture and are motivated to focus our energies on the coming years and committo investments we’ve currently overlooked. We’ve witnessed changes in consumerexpenditure, there’s more growth, and this increasing consumer confidencereflects the country’s economic trends.”

Luciano Hang’s vision for the future goesbeyond giving customers what they need – it’s to offer services and solutionsthat innovate and amaze.

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