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Latin American Retailers to Benefit From Improved Economy

Macroeconomic conditions are improving in Latin America, and as a result, the analysts at Fitch Ratings are bullish on the retail sector there. They said in a report that stable inflation and gradually declining interest rates will benefit the sector this year.

There are also retail market dynamics at play, which will help. “Increased competition from pure online retailers has led traditional retailers to defend market share by focusing on enhancing their product offerings, elevating service levels and improving the overall shopping experience,” authors of the Fitch report said.

The report noted that retailers in Latin America “are striving for a more balanced strategy between growth and profitability when executing digital strategies.” The report’s authors said merchants “are demonstrating increased prudence with their capex, directing their investments toward optimizing logistics and bolstering the long-term value of customer relationships.”

The report’s authors said merchants in Latin America kicked off 2024 “with better inventory levels after paring back their purchases during 2023.” They said the firm believes inventory management “continues to be key to preserve profitability despite these more efficient inventory levels.” The report also said international debt markets continue to be volatile as global macroeconomic environment and geopolitical risks disrupt stability.

According to Statista, some of the top retailers in Latin America include FEMSA Comercio, Grupo Comercial, Organization Soriano and Grupo Coppel in Mexico, Cencosud and Falabella in Chile and Natura & Co. in Brazil.

In Mexico, Walmart de México y Centroamérica, also known as Walmex, dominates the market, Walmex is Walmart’s largest division that is outside of the U.S. The division operates more than 2,800 stores as well as 300 Walmart Supercenter units and 167 Sam’s Club stores.

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