She Fell With the Olympic Torch and Turned It Into a Sales Boost

(Bloomberg) -- The image of Magazine Luiza SA Chairman Luiza Helena Trajano falling while carrying the Olympic torch became an instant internet meme in Brazil. The entrepreneur was quick to turn it into a sales boost for the retailer.

The second-largest appliance and housewares chain in Brazil started a sale just a few days after the incident, with the slogan #cairfazparte -- which roughly translates as “falling is part of life.” The message was that after Trajano’s tumble, prices would now drop too. The move helped the company beat its sales target for July.

She Fell With the Olympic Torch and Turned It Into a Sales Boost

Trajano falls while carrying the Olympic torch.

Source: Youtube

“It was the best week of sales in the first seven months of the year,” Chief Executive Officer Frederico Trajano -- her son -- said at an event in Sao Paulo Tuesday, adding jokingly: “I think my mom did it on purpose.”

In an interview, Frederico Trajano said the Olympics helped improve the mood of Brazilian consumers in July and August. He didn’t offer specific revenue figures.

The Instagram account for Luiza Helena Trajano, 64, has more than 29,000 Instagram followers. She says she learned how to use the social media from her grandchildren.

Now e-commerce is a big focus for Magazine Luiza, she said at the event. The company’s second-quarter revenue totaled 2.15 billion reais ($669 million), matching estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“The physical store is not going to end, but it is going to go through a big transformation,” she said. The elder Trajano was a vice president for the Olympic organizing committee and said it was tense to prepare for the games amid the worst recession in a century. “The games were great. We need to take advantage of this moment and bring this optimism into our stores.”