MEXICO CITY -- Kmart launched itself into the Mexican market Tuesday with the official unveiling of two Super Centers outside the capital, each expected to each generate $37 million to $40 million in sales in the first year, with a 20 percent increase the following year, according to store officials.

On hand the night before for an inaugural party in one of the stores, in the Mexico City suburb of San Mateo, was Joseph Antonini, Kmart president and chief executive officer, who said it's too early to decide whether the discounter will follow through with earlier plans to open 10 stores each year for the next five years.

"We haven't finalized those plans yet," he said. "We'll see how the first two stores do, and we'll proceed from there."

Kmart's operation, which had a soft opening starting May 16, is part of a joint venture with El Puerto de Liverpool, which has a chain of 17 department stores.

Like its U.S. counterparts, about 20 percent of the stores' sales space is devoted to soft goods, the bulk of which is apparel, with 50 percent allotted to food and roughly 30 percent to hard goods. The stores range in size from 49,000 to 62,000 square feet.

The two new stores cost a total $30 million to build and stock, said Juan Suberville, director general and ceo of Kmart Mexico.

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