International

Walmart Sees 2.7 Pct Bump In Sales In Mexico

Walmart's Mexican operations grew in the last year.

Walmart de Mexico’s sales are looking up, with a 2.7 percent increase at stores open for more than a year over the same time last year, according to Reuters on Monday (Feb.10).

The company, sometimes known as Walmex, is Mexico’s biggest retailer and said its total sales had jumped 4.2 percent since last year.

Walmart opened 214 stores in Mexico in 2013. That was its largest market with over 3,400 stores, and more than any other non-U.S. country. Last year, it opened another 134 stores in Mexico and increased its footprint there by around 5 percent. Most of the new stores are part of the Bodega Aurerra chain, which offers more discounts.

Bodega Aurerra is Walmart’s attempt to keep up with rivals offering simpler marketplaces.

Gabriela Buenrostro Ortega, a spokesperson for the company in that region, said the expansions would allow Walmart to keep offering the best possible prices for Mexican families and to continue working for the welfare of the people. She said the expansion of stores would also allow them to provide thousands of new jobs for people there.

They also opened 27 additional stores in Central America last year.

However, Walmart ran into trouble last year when, in Brazil, they settled for $282 million with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on charges of bribery. According to the charges, Walmart Brazil had been engaging in bribery to obtain construction permits to build new stores, calling an intermediary “sorceress” and “genie” for its ability to make new stores happen.

It also broke the Foreign Corrupt Policies Act. Between 2009 and 2010, Walmart Brazil lied to the parent company about how the stores were being funded. Walmart would then report that information on its financial statements.

Under the suit, Walmart resolved to pay $144 million to the SEC and $138 million to the DOJ in order to settle the bribery case.

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