Wal-Mart in Central America announced on Tuesday that they would be opening 24 new stores in Costa Rica before year-end. The expansion is expect to create 839 new jobs.
Wal-Mart claims it will invest $160 million dollars in the Costa Rica expansion and is part of a $387 million dollar investment in new stores within the region.
Wal-Mart operates a total of 181 retail units that include 6 Hipermas megastores and 25 Mas x Menos, 15 Maxi Bodega and 135 Pali supermarkets, within Costa Rica.
Wal-Mart Central America currently operates 531 stores in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica that currently are employing some 30.000 people.
In September of 2005, Wal-Mart acquired more than a 33 percent interest in Central American Retail Holding Company (CARHCO) from the Dutch retailer Royal Ahold NV. In March 2006, they increased their interest to 51 percent and the CARHCO name became Walmart Centroamérica. Walmart are the region’s largest retailer, with stores in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
In December 2009, Wal-Mart Mexico announced the acquisition of Wal-Mart’s operations in Central America from Wal-Mart Stores and two additional minority partners. Early in 2010 the transaction was completed and Wal-Mart México became Wal-Mart México and Central America. Walmart Central America headquarters are located in San José, Costa Rica.