Walmart plans to continue opening new stores in Mexico

Walmart plans to continue opening new stores in Mexico

MEXICO - Walmart de Mexico sees options to open new stores in Mexico, after registering in 2023 its biggest year of expansion in number of branches in a decade, said the executive president and CEO, Guilherme Loureiro.

The retail giant known as Walmex said during the presentation of its results that it had opened 162 new stores across Mexico and Central America in 2023, including 101 in the last three months of the year.

"Last year we opened the highest number of stores since 2013," said Loureiro, noting in particular that the opportunity for store count growth in Mexico remains very much present.

The company recently reported a slight year-over-year increase in earnings in the last quarter of 2023, driven by solid like-for-like sales growth in both Mexico and Central America.

"Although growth rates in Central America were affected by protests in Guatemala in October," CFO Paulo Garcia said.

Loureiro, meanwhile, indicated that while the company's hypermarkets were doing well and would continue to improve this year, its smaller Walmart Express stores had suffered from "a sequence of bad decisions."

"We could write a book on everything you can do wrong," Loureiro said, pointing to mistakes in the way the group tried to position the brand against its premium and low-cost rivals, accepting that it had not reacted quickly in addressing customer complaints.

Walmart shares were down around 2% in early trading in the Mexican market.