SAO PAULO, March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Saraiva S.A. Livreiros Editores ("Company") (Bovespa: SLED3 e SLED4) Brazil's leading publisher and distributor of content and services related to education, culture and entertainment, has implemented the Culture-Voucher program in its 112 stores. The Culture-Voucher can be used to buy books, CDs, movies or magazines. In February 2014, the benefit was also included in the package offered to Saraiva employees who earn up to five minimum wages a month. Nearly 90% of the Company's employees eligible to the program have already signed up.
"Saraiva, which for a hundred years promotes culture in Brazil, has always supported cultural programs. We believe that Education, culture and entertainment are essential to build a better world and should be available to everyone" said Jorge Saraiva Neto, CEO of Saraiva Group. Saraiva employees' cards are managed by Sodexo, while the operation at the stores is administered under the banners Alelo, Banrisul, Nutricash, Planvale, Ticket, Vale Card and Sodexo. Saraiva is also the first retailer of cultural products to adopt the Sodexo Cultura Pass.
Two months after the program's implementation, the Saraiva's volume of sales by means of the Culture-Voucher is high. The Company expects 20,000 customers will use the card to make purchases on a monthly basis. Currently, the Brazilian states with greater number of Culture-Voucher users are: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul. Additionally, Saraiva is working in partnership with operators so that customers will soon be able to use the Culture-Voucher to make purchases online.
The Culture-Voucher should boost book sales in Brazil. "The publishing market will be responsible for captivating this expressive share of consumers who now receive funds specific for the purchase of cultural products," explained Karine Pansa, the Chairman of the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL).
The Culture-Voucher is a monthly benefit totaling R$50, valid across all Brazilian territory, which enables workers under the Consolidated Labor Laws regime to go to theater plays, movies, concerts, the circus, to visit art exhibitions or museums, or even to purchase or rent CDs, DVDs, books, magazines and newspapers. It can also be used to pay for courses in the areas of plastic arts, audiovisual communication, dance, circus, photography, music, literature or drama. The credit is cumulative and has no expiration date. So far, the Ministry of Culture has signed up 1,540 companies and more than 368,000 workers to receive the Culture-Voucher. "The benefit represents the annual moving of more than R$220 million in the cultural segment. And this is just the beginning of the revolution that the Culture-Voucher is leading in Brazil," celebrated Marta Suplicy, the Brazilian Minister of Culture. According to the Ministry, the benefit should reach approximately 42 million workers, and the potential in the cultural segment production chain corresponds to nearly R$25 billion.
Luciana Doria Wilson
Investor Relations Director
Phone: +55 11 3613-3081
Phone: +55 11 3613-3570
SOURCE Saraiva S.A.