International speculation has Walmart entering Peru

Peru tends to be a logical new market for many Chilean retailers and Walmart will be next, according to unconfirmed reports from a company executive who spoke to Reuters.

The news agency this week said Walmart, which is already one of the leading retailers in Chile, will begin work this year to open stores in Peru and plans to form a local management team. As expected, Walmart denied the report but did acknowledge it planned to run a quality assurance office in Peru for procuring products.

According to Reuters, Web sites of Peru's public registry and national tax collection agency both showed the Walmart had filed the name "Walmart Peru" recently. The source Reuters cited said the company had ruled out buying a local chain.

Peru might makes sense for Walmart as an expansion opportunity given its proximity to Chile, however if Walmart were to enter the market organically it would run counter to everything the company has said in recent years about how it plans to grow internationally. The company’s plans call for driving growth through same store sales increases and new square footage in existing markets followed by opportunistic acquisitions in major markets. Building new stores in a market the size of Peru would represent a significant departure from existing strategy.

See what else Reuters had to say, click here.

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