Our long-term goal is to strengthen our leadership position in the wholesale and retail segments in the North and Northeast of Brazil. Our strategy comprises:
Consolidate our leadership and regional presence
As of September 30, 2020, we had 145 stores operating under the brands Mateus Supermercados, Mix Atacarejo, Eletro Mateus and Armazém Mateus, compared to 65 stores in 2016. We intend to further consolidate our leadership position through organic expansion across our divisions and brands in order to capture more of the demand and growth potential in the North and Northeast regions of Brazil. In addition, we expect to benefit from the Brazilian urban demographic changes and development in customer habits to open a significant number of new stores in the next few years. We also intend to accelerate the expansion of our presence in rapidly growing divisions, such as cash-and-carry (atacarejo) under the Mix Atacarejo brand and neighborhood stores under the Camiño division.
We adopt measures to maintain our liquidity and cash position at appropriate levels and operate at a low level of financial leverage. As a result of our efficient financial strategy, we are able to meet our short-term and long-term financial commitments with sufficient cash generation and resources that are readily available. Our 34 years of experience in the wholesale and retail segments, together with our financial discipline and well-defined goals allowed us to successfully execute our business expansion and investment plans. Further, as a result of our effective financial planning, our cash flows are sufficient to cover the
payment of our short-term and long-term indebtedness, which allows us to have an efficient control of our indebtedness without compromising the availability of working capital.
Expansion through a comprehensive multi-channel sales network
In view of the expected growing purchasing power across Brazilian social classes, we intend to continue our successful strategy of expanding through our multiple sales channels, opening physical stores at shopping malls and public areas, and expanding our e-commerce operations. We believe the expansion of our multi-channel network will enable us to efficiently target our customers to meet their needs.
Continuous development of our culture, based on teamwork, incentives to leadership and professional commitment, and on retaining and attracting talent
Our culture is primarily focused on results through well-defined targets. This principle is introduced to our employees as part of our ultimate goal, which is to become the largest Brazilian food retailer, aiming to achieve respect from our customers, inspire our staff and add value to our business partners. We believe we have created a corporate culture that encourages teamwork, attracting and integrating talented professionals in a diverse and meritocratic environment. We intend to continuously improve our culture to further increase our capacity to develop a talented team of highly qualified professionals and, consequently, consolidate our leadership position in the wholesale and retail segments in Brazil.
Expand our expertise in the food retail and home appliances markets, and customers shopping habits
We carry out market researches to develop our expertise in the main trends in the food retail and home appliances markets. These studies involve benchmarking analyses and customer behavior surveys, which not only enable us to stay ahead of market transformations and trends, but also permit us to continue to: (i) deliver the best food and non-food products; (ii) offer relevant services to meet our customers’ needs; and (iii) provide a high quality shopping experience to our customers.