Mexico City -- Wal-Mart Stores’ Mexico subsidiary said Wednesday that new store openings for 2012 will be cut from the originally planned 410 to 430 stores to 325 to 335, due in large part to added real estate documentation procedures.
Expansion plans for new stores will be delayed by 60 to 90 days, said Wal-Mart Mexico, as the retailer institutes reinforced documentation around real estate projects. Wal-Mart Mexico has been in the throes of a bribery scandal involving alleged payments to middlemen to accelerate the store-opening process.
The company said it will spend $17.5 billion – an 11% reduction from the initial plans – to open the downwardly revised 325 to 335 new stores in Mexico and Central America in 2012, representing an 8.1% annual expansion rate. The original 430 store count may still be reached, said the retailer, but it would be by the end of first quarter 2013, rather than end of 2012.