Walmart’ US$ 300m investment promises 5,000 jobs in Chile

SANTIAGO – US retail and supermarkets giant Wal-Mart will open 55 to 60 new stores in Chile, adding more than 5,000 jobs and further developing a large distribution center near the capital city of Santiago.

Also, the remodeling of some 50 stores is part of Walmart’s US$ 300 million investment in the country over the next three years.

“We are confident in the future potential of the country, and we are convinced that spaces exist to continue expanding our low-cost model,” Walmart Chile general manager Horacio Barbeito said in a statement earlier this week.

“Both in the high and low moments of the economic cycle, consumers are always interested in using their budget efficiently, and this will continue being our focus.”

Wal-Mart’s expansion plan will focus on medium-sized stores, such as the company’s Express de Lider and Super Bodega aCuenta formats.

The distribution center is already under construction and will require 2,000 employees and US$ 180 million in investment, the company said in a statement.

The company also seeks to improve its online department, in order to lead the market where Chilean retailers such as Falabella FAL.SN and Cencosud CEN.SN have also invested significant sums.