Last updateFri, 12 Apr 2019 2pm

Sears in Mexico unfazed by north-of-the-border woes

The financial misfortunes of retail giant Sears in the United States will not impact stores in Mexico, according to Grupo Sanborns, which owns 99 percent of the south-of-the-border operation.

pg5bSears Holdings filed for bankruptcy in New York Monday, later issuing a statement saying it intends to stay in business, keeping open stores that are profitable, along with the Sears and Kmart Web sites.

A statement from Grupo Sanborns – part of the business empire of billionaire Carlos Slim – read: “Sears in Mexico has no relation with the United States. Its finances are so healthy that this year we opened three new stores and remodeled six.”

According to company reports, over the coming months Grupo Sanborns plans to open four new Sears stores, eight Sanborns and ten iShop outlets throughout Mexico, with an investment totaling 2.3 billion pesos ($US122 million).

In addition, Grupo Sanborns is in the process of a major modernization and image change initiative that includes the upgrading of its online sales operation, which currently lags well behind more aggressive competitors Liverpool and Walmart.

Despite this optimism, Sears in Mexico sales fell by 0.9 percent during the second semester of this year, while Liverpool’s increased by 7.4 percent.

Market analysts reckon Sears’ Mexico operation will not be unduly affected by the bankruptcy filing in the United States since nearly all of the merchandise sold here comes from independent suppliers.

In July, 2016, Slim purchased the 14 percent of Sears in Mexico owned by Sears Holdings, giving him 99 percent of the shares.

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