What’s happened to the Wal-Mart touch in Mexico? Wal-Mart is the majority owner of the largest retailer in Mexico, Cifra, but that company has recently reported that its August “same store” sales dropped by -2.6% compared to the same period one year ago. Same store sales refers to those stores which have been open for one year or longer. Reuters reports that Cifra’s sales figures south of the border have been heading south all year, declining in February, March, April, May and June of this year. Wal-Mart ownership of the company has not seemed to do much to help its lackluster performance this year. As of the end of fiscal year 1999, Wal-Mart owned 358 discount stores in Mexico, 95 supercenters. 64% of Wal-Marts international supercenters are located in Mexico, and 68% of its international discount stores.
Between its avocado problems (see 9/7/99 entry below) and sluggish Cifra sales, it’s not been a very fun year in sunny Mexico for Wal-Mart stores, inc. Oh well, maybe sales in Beijing will perk up the bottom line.