Walmart Mexico Celebrates 50 years of Contributions to Improve the Quality of Life for Mexican Families
- Mexican President Felipe Calderon attended 50th Anniversary celebration
- The first Aurrera store, which opened in 1958, was remembered
- Historian Enrique Krauze discussed the retail revolution brought about by Walmart
Mexico City, Sept. 4, 2008 – Walmart Mexico celebrated today its 50th anniversary of the opening of its first Aurrera store, a true icon of Mexican retail development, during a ceremony attended by Mexican President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa.
Other guests to the event were officials from the Federal and State governments, lawmakers, business leaders, presidents from Foundations and NGOs, and suppliers, in addition to more than 2,500 current and former Walmart de Mexico associates.
“Ever since its inception as Aurrera 50 years ago, Walmart de Mexico has had a clear, unique view of the retail business. We were the first to offer one-stop shopping, reduce margin to gain volume, promote the use of barcodes, and offer every day low prices. Fifty years ago we committed to Mexico’s long-term development, and we’ve stayed true to our vision of contributing so that millions of Mexican families can live better”, said Eduardo Solorzano, President and CEO for Walmart de Mexico.
Encouraged by the cheers of 3,000 associates who participated in the celebration of the 50th anniversary, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón congratulated Walmart for its commitment towards the country, “It is good for Mexico that someone believes in Mexico, invests in Mexico and generates employment in Mexico”, he said, and he added “I thank you for the help Mexico received from Walmart and its associates during natural disasters in Tabasco and Chiapas. I also want to thank you for the support that we received to benefit the economy of Mexican families in the stabilization of prices during a time where markets have raised the cost of basic products.”
During his speech, historian Enrique Krauze, Director of Clio publications company, shared an account of Aurrera’s stages of evolution until it became Walmart Mexico. He also highlighted that the company is evolving hand-in-hand with modern Mexico. “The transformation of those humble beginnings on Bolivar street, the never-ending desire to help Mexican families live better and continuation of the same in the future not only serve as a lesson to be taught to others, but also serve as a source of joy and admiration”, said Krauze.
At the beginning of his speech President Calderón remembered how he used to order coffee at a VIPS located in Insurgentes Avenue. He also acknowledged how Walmart was present in his family life for several years, as the supermarket where he and his wife Margarita Zavala bought uniforms for their children and Christmas trees
The matching visions of Aurrera and Walmart Stores, founded in 1962 by Sam Walton in the United States, were also emphasized. Although Cifra-Aurrera –with its formats Aurrera, Bodega Aurrera, Superama, Suburbia and VIPS Restaurant- was already the leading retailer in Mexico, the joint venture with Walmart Stores in 1991 expanded its formats and growth opportunities by developing Walmart Supercenters and Sam’s Membership Warehouse Clubs for the Mexican market. The subsequent merging of Cifra-Aurrera into Walmart Mexico drove the growth of all its formats to eventually become the largest employer in Mexico with over 160,000 associates and presence in 192 cities nationwide.
The celebration was just the right time to give President Felipe Calderon the first issue of the commemorative Anniversary book titled: Walmart Mexico, 50 Years: A Story of Courage and Commitment, published by Clio. Walmart Mexico also gave President Calderon the Walmart glass star for special guests in thanks for their participation during significant occasions.
Eduardo Solórzano explained the short-term objective of taking Walmart Mexico´s value proposition to more places in Mexico, of working closely with the three Mexican government branches at all levels so as to foster growth and competitiveness in Mexico.
Committed to a better Mexico
Walmart de México S. A. de C.V. (BMV: WALMEX) is a retail company whose vision is to contribute towards improving the quality of life of Mexican families. It has several business formats, including self-service stores (Bodega Aurrera, Walmart Supercenter and Superama), membership warehouse clubs (Sam’s Club), apparel stores (Suburbia) and restaurants (Vips, El Portón and Ragazzi), amounting to 1,082 units as of August 6. In 2008 Walmart de México received the Socially Responsible Company award for the eighth consecutive year. www.walmartmexico.com.mx