Wal-Mart de México y Centroamérica on Tuesday said it has started the process to consider offers from third parties that, if consummated, could lead to the sale of its Suburbia apparel division.
The process is in its early stages and there are no assurances that a deal will be made, Wal-Mart de México said in a statement.
Suburbia, a specialty-apparel retailer for the entire family, is one of the leaders in the segment. It has a strong footprint in Mexico with 117 stores in 44 cities across 31 states. For the year ended Sept. 31, 2014, Suburbia accounted for 3.5 percent of Walmex’s consolidated sales.
Walmex has been shifting strategy to focus on its core business. In recent years, the company sold its Vips restaurant chain, as well as its Banco Walmart banking unit, which was acquired by multibillionaire Carlos Slim’s Grupo Financiero Inbursa.
Walmex’s board said last week that Guilherme Loureiro would replace Enrique Ostalé as the company’s new president and chief executive officer, effective Feb. 1. Ostale will continue as chairman of the board.
It’s also been a time of change for the parent company, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is rejiggering as it strives to more effectively compete online and also working to get the most out of its store base.
Last week, the retailer said it will close 269 doors globally, including 154 in the U.S. Among the casualties are 102 Wal-Mart Express units, the retailer’s smallest format developed to help it expand to urban areas. Wal-Mart said that more than 95 percent of the sites to be shuttered are within 10 miles on average of another Wal-Mart. In the past, Wal-Mart had a market saturation strategy where the giant Supercenters were built in close proximity. The retailer recognized that there was cannibalization, but the prevailing theory was that it was better than ceding market share to a competitor.