MEXICO CITY — Walmex reported an 11 percent jump in 2015 consolidated sales to 485.8 billion pesos, or $27 billion at current exchange — the biggest hike in nearly a decade — as deep discounts drove bargain hunters to stores.
“We had the best year since 2006 when our sales increased 9.7 percent,” said Antonio Ocaranza, communications director for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Mexico and Central America division. “We saw a consistent sales increase all over Mexico and throughout the region and Sam’s Club performed well” after dragging sales since 2014.
Same-store turnover rose 6.4 percent and 4.7 percent in Mexico and Central America, Ocaranza said, though he would not provide combined same-store sales figures.
Despite a lukewarm start of the year, Mexico’s retail market improved in recent months, delivering a 6 percent and 10 percent gain on a same-store and consolidated results basis, respectively, trade lobby Antad said. It had earlier expected a 2.3 percent and 6.3 percent gain in both metrics respectively.
Even though Mexico’s economy was forecast to grow a less-than-forecast 2.5 percent last year, foreign remittances increased strongly, inflation remained stable and consumer confidence on the overall economy strengthened, Antad’s president Vicente Yáñez Solana was quoted as telling local press. He said this year’s outlook also seems bright.
Ocaranza said Walmex deepened discounts to ensure it meets its 10-year target to double sales.
“We worked really hard to drop prices and we saw consumers gain confidence in our stores and products,” Ocaranza said, adding that clothing sales were strong, ranking only after general merchandise sales.
He said Walmex’s sales outperformed other hypermarket rivals such as Soriana or Chedraui, accumulating a 4.7 percent increase above the entire sector since 2014.
Walmex’s Suburbia discount clothing chain also had a good year and Christmas season, helping it recover from its doldrums, though Ocaranza would not reveal specific figures. A new store credit card launched in partnership with Banco Bradesco also helped lift turnover, which weakened in 2014 when the chain restructured its customer-credit operations due to Walmex’s sale of Banco Wal-Mart.
Apparel sales rose in the mid to high-single digits, with Walmex expanding its men’s wear and home textiles offering amid strong demand, according to Ocaranza. He said the chain also expanded its private-label business for children at Wal-Mart super stores, Bodega Aurrera convenience stores and Sams Club, where it also sells multibranded products.
During the year, the chain opened 95 stores.