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 7.7% per year and major multinationals and local companies continue to expand throughout Mexico in the different segments, signalling that opportunities will continue (USDA). 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 the Mexican Association of Nationwide Retailers (ANTAD), in 2021 general merchandise stores represented around 51% of total retail sales, followed by supermarkets (mainly groceries) with a sales share of 33%, and shoes and clothing stores representing 16% of sales. Importantly these numbers represent only “formal” retail, informal retail has a large presence in Mexico (more than 56%). Informal establishments include mobile street vendors and open public markets. These points of sale traditionally distribute local, domestic products. In 2021 there were 93 supermarket chains, with 46,643 stores throughout the country (ANTAD).

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 is 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 is in the informal sector.
Market share
The top national retailers are :

•    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 2022, all three business formats had internet retailing as well. Moreover, there is Bodega Aurrera, the Walmart outlet that targets lower-income consumers, with also recently entered the e-commerce subsector.
•    Oxxo, a Mexican convenience store chain, is the second largest retailer after Wal-Mart.
•    Soriana has several different formats to meet the demands of different population segments. Soriana is the third largest retail company in Mexico after Wal-Mart, with 790 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.

Retail Sector Organisations
Ministry of the Economy: Ministry of Industry and Commerce
Mexico National Retail Association

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Latest Update: July 2024