Almost one third of all Brazilian trade is done in the State of São Paulo. Trade in São Paulo records an annual gross revenue of more than US$ 428 billion, accounting for 28.7% of businesses and 29.1% of the Brazilian workforce in regular employment. The retail segment is the lead commercial segment in the State, representing 49.7% of its sales margin, followed by wholesale trade and the group encompassing vehicles, spare parts and motorcycles, according to 2014 statistics released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

With more than 515,000 businesses, the commercial sector in São Paulo employs 3 million people, who receive around US$ 28 billion in the form of salaries, payments and other forms of remuneration. Retail trade is the largest employer, accounting for 72.7% of all people in employment. 

Sale of products classified as ‘others’ in specialized stores is the leading retail segment accounting for 34.7% of commercial businesses and 30.9% of individuals in regular employment. Retail trade of pharmaceuticals, home appliances, information and communication technology (ICT) equipment, movables and building materials are included in this group.

Trading by supermarkets and hypermarkets, which account for 0.9% of all commercial establishments and employ 11.5% of the workforce in regular employment, accounts for 10.6% of the sales margin and 11.7% of salaries and payments in the commercial sector.

Wholesale traders, with more than 70,000 establishments in the State, account for 43.4% of the sales margin. Approximately 35.2% of this total is represented by primary segment, that of equipment and items for personal use and use in the home.

The sale of vehicles, spare parts and motorcycles accounts for 7.0% of the sales margin and 8.1% of the people in employment in the State.

Find out more about some of São Paulo's main economic sectors.

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