In March, Walmart México announced a US$20.9 billion investment in which most was allocated to remodeling, maintenance, new stores and logistics. At the end of February 2018, the company had 2,346 stores in Mexico with a 2024 goal of having 3,000, which would equate to 93.4 stores each year. Mexico Infrastructure & Sustainability Review sat down with Gaston Wainstein, VP Senior Real Estate Development, Corporate Strategy and Special Projects to discuss the chain’s ambitious growth strategy.
Q: What is Walmart’s expansion strategy for Mexico?
A: We have a portfolio of brands and a strong national presence that has allowed us to grow throughout the entire country. We have the right formats to continue growing and opening not only new stores, but also expanding our logistics capacity through distribution centers. We are investing heavily in overall infrastructure and in remodeling our stores to keep them fresh and updated. We have an ambitious investment for the country using all of our existing formats. We continue opening new stores in all of our formats, which are Bodega Aurrera, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Superama. Bodega Aurrera is a very significative vehicle for the company and it has become a very popular brand for the value customer segment of population.
Q: How is Walmart adapting its stores and infrastructure to the growing e-commerce trend in Mexico?
A: Walmart wants to continue developing its omnichannel proposal. Omnichannel allows clients to purchase products anytime and anywhere. We are investing a lot of money in this and the clients value our efforts. Our omnichannel approach combined with our strong physical presence throughout the country allows our offering to be even stronger. Currently we have 23 distribution centers in Mexico and Central America boosting our logistics network, which we plan to also expand in the following years.
Although Walmart is a leading company worldwide, its goal is to continue being the leader and to continue innovating on a day-to-day basis. We incorporate a great amount of technology to develop our stores and we are a serious company with a good reputation in the market that wants to innovate within the real estate sector.
Q: What new alliances and partnerships does Walmart wish to develop to fulfill its ambitious growth and innovation plans?
A: We want to strengthen our relationships with local developers, Fibras and other third parties interested in helping us fulfill our mission. We would not like to go about it alone. We look for serious partners and good projects. Because the partnerships we create are long term, we place special emphasis on having partners that also look for transparency and quality in their projects. It’s important to understand the needs of each party and work toward common ground with all types of developers. A good developer is one that can identify the needs of the end client, the needs of Walmart and others to create a project that is coherent, financially viable and is sustainable in the long term.
This is an exclusive preview of the 2019 edition of Mexico Infrastructure & Sustainability Review. If you want to get all the information, plus other relevant insights regarding this industry, pre-order your copy of Mexico Infrastructure & Sustainability Review 2019 or access the digital copy of the 2018 edition.