January 30, 2009
New Orleans Even as we deal with the deepening recession, the huge recovery phenomena of Wal-Mart is hard not to notice. The stock is up. Sales are through the roof as hard strapped, working income customers are desperate to stretch their dollars as far as possible. Store expansion in the US continues though not at the fever pitch of several years ago making analysts happier and improving same-store sales figures year-to-year. We have talked before about their efforts to pay off some back wage claims and get some of their uglier employment practices off of the front pages (my fingers are still crossed for a Duke settlement soon on the big mother of all equal wage sex discrimination cases), but is the company really any different yet?
It’s hard to tell, but at least in the area of global expansion it still seems as aggressive and avaricious as ever. ACORN International offices have reported in recent weeks a lot of activity by the company to expand its footprint in Latin America particularly.
Last year there was the purchase of the Chilean chain, D & S, a major player in that market. Now we see they are preparing under that banner to open the first three super stores in Lima over the next year, which would be their first entry into the Peruvian market, where they are trying to take advantage of the recent growth of the economy in Peru. Already the largest private sector employer and dominant chain in Mexico and a force in Brazil and Argentina markets, the moves in Chile and Peru are sure signs that the happy-face beast is gearing up for major growth and expansion in Latin America. Many of our friends in unions and communities in these countries have complained to us that they are ill prepared for this invasion. The notion of forty (40) stores in all the principle cities of Peru (otros 40 lotes en las principales ciudades de Peru) is a big, bold move that the grocery wars will soon be fought in earnest in Latin America at a new level.
The report from the blog, Chileconomia, has been an excellent source in monitoring Wal-Mart’s land grabs.
Wal-Mart llegaria a Peru, con D&S
La mas grande supermercadista estadounidense que pronto estaria en Chile, Wal-Mart, con la adquisicion de D&S (Lider y Ekono) estaria apostandole tambien al mercado peruano, donde la firma chilena tiene 40 terrenos para expandirse.
De esta manera, los planes de D&S de llegar el proximo ano a Lima con 3 locales de su formato Super Bodega Acuenta, no solo se mantienen con la venta a Wal-Mart, sino que esta compania los potenciaria.
Dice el periodista Jose Tocornal que D&S ya tiene “amarrados” otros 40 lotes en las principales ciudades de Peru, que heredaria la “era Wal-Mart”.
“Las ubicaciones, dijo una fuente ligada a D&S, son tanto para los formatos de conveniencia como hipermercados. Asi, Wal-Mart entraria a competir con Cencosud en tres mercados: Argentina, Chile y Peru”.
En Peru, el grupo liderado por Horst Paulmann (Cencosud) cerro a principios de este ano la compra de la cadena de supermercados Wong, por algo mas de US$ 400 millones.
Pero la estadounidense Wal-Mart estaria evaluando crecer, ademas de organicamente, via adquisiciones, y en la mira estaria Supermercados Peruanos, la segunda mayor cadena de Peru, ligada al grupo Interbank.
Wal-Mart esta evaluando el mercado colombiano para ver el formato que podrian desplegar.