Mexico flag Mexico: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Mexico

Evolution of the Sector
Mexico has over 129 million consumers, making it the second largest market in Latin America after Brazil. The retail sector recorded current value growth of 7.4 percent per year and major multinationals and local companies continue to expand throughout Mexico in the different segments, signalling that opportunities will continue. The retail environment in Mexico is increasingly competitive due to fierce competition, fast expansion plans, challenges such as multichannel strategies and consumers being more demanding regarding their needs, as well as new value added services offering an interactive and unique shopping experience.

According to USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, supermarkets represent 51.7 percent of total retail sales (mainly groceries), followed by general merchandise stores with a sales share of 30.2 percent, with shoes and clothing stores representing 18.1 percent. Importantly these numbers represent only “formal” retail, informal retail has a large presence in Mexico.

According to the Mexican Association of Nationwide Retailers (ANTAD), there are 33 supermarket chains, with 58,777 stores throughout the country. Still, nearly 50 percent of the retail market is covered by informal establishments, such as mobile street vendors and open public markets. These points of sale traditionally distribute local, domestic products.

Lead retailers such as El Puerto de Liverpool SAC de CV, Copper SA de CV and Walmart de Mexico SAB de CV, among others, are expected to continue their growth and success, pushing the retail industry to grow via new outlets and e-commerce around the country. Internet retailing was the most dynamic retail channel in Mexico. New players entered the e-commerce competitive landscape, including City Market and Chedraui as well as some newly apps like "Corner Shop" and “Rappi”

Leading retailers will need to improve their customer service in order to maintain their competitive edge. A black hole in the Mexican economy is the informal sector and this also includes the retail market. According to data from the National Survey of Occupation and Employment (ENOE) around 56 percent of the country’s workforce was in the informal sector.
Market share

The top national retailers:

  • Walmart de Mexico y Centroamerica leads the retail market in Mexico. Walmart’s main store formats include Superama (a medium size supermarket), Walmart Supercenters (hypermarkets), and Sam’s Club (warehouse clubs). As of 2018, all three business formats had internet retailing as well. Moreover, there is Bodega Aurrera, the Walmart outlet that targets lower-income consumers, with no plans to enter the e-commerce subsector.
  • Soriana has several different formats to meet the demands of different population segments. With the acquisition of the 160 stores from Comercial Mexicana in 2015, Soriana became the second largest retail company in Mexico after Wal-Mart, with 824 outlets across Mexico. Soriana manages five store-based retailing formats: Hypermarkets (Hipermercado Soriana), supermarkets (Supermercado Soriana), discounters (Mercado Soriana and Soriana Express), convenience stores (Super City) and warehouse stores (City Club). Following the strategy of offering new products and services to its clients, Soriana started to include health centres at its hypermarkets and supermarkets, providing medical services at very low prices.
  • Controladora Comercial Mexicana is the third largest retailer and gives priority to the development of high-end grocery sector through its formats Fresko and City Market, which have wide variety of imported and health-focused international products especially sourced from Europe.
Retail Sector Organisations
Ministry of the Economy: Ministry of Industry and Commerce
Mexico National Retail Association

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Latest Update: June 2022

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