US retailer Wal-Mart closed five stores in Brazil in recent weeks, three of which were located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, according to publication O Estado de Sao Paulo.
Among the banners affected are Nacional (a local network of supermarkets that was acquired by Wal-Mart in 2005) and Todo Dia (neighbourhood stores).
The company also dismissed employees in the commercial and administrative areas, with the total number of dismissals in retail and HQ expected to reach 300, sources told the local daily.
Market sources also said that plans to downsize the Brazilian operation have not yet been completed, with more supermarkets, a store model considered less profitable today, likely to be closed in 2017.
The latest cuts came despite the fact that the US retailer reported positive data for Brazil in its latest balance sheet for the third quarter of 2016. Although operating profit decreased, sales grew 8.1% between July and September, while customer store flow grew 0.5%.
At the turn of 2015 to 2016, Wal-Mart closed many supermarkets, hypermarkets and even so-called atacarejos, a mixed model of wholesale and retail considered the most profitable by large retailers.
At the time, Wal-Mart initially stated that it intended to close 5% or about 30 operations. However, in January 2016 it was revealed that the total of deactivated stores reached 60.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up for ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine