Walmart entered into the definitive agreement to acquire Cornershop for US$225m earlier this month and, subject to regulatory approval, the deal should be finalized by the end of this year.
Walmart said the acquisition of Cornershop – an on-demand grocery app for supermarkets, pharmacies and specialty food retailers in Mexico and Chile – was “an important step forward in accelerating the company's omni-channel capabilities and growth in Latin America”.
Stretching further in LATAM
Walmart already had a strong presence in Latin America, with Walmart Mexico and Walmart Centroamérica operating various store formats across the region, including Walmart, Bompreço, Sam's Club and Superama, among others. The retail giant entered in Mexico in 1991; Argentina and Brazil in 1995; El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras in 2005; and Chile in 2009.
Judith McKenna, president and CEO of Walmart International, said: “Cornershop's digital expertise, technology and capabilities will strengthen our successful business in Mexico and Chile and provide learning for other markets in which we operate.”
McKenna said the acquisition provided opportunity to leverage both the Cornershop and Walmart brands.
“Combining Cornershop's innovative, crowdsourced delivery platform with Walmart's unique assets will allow us to accelerate growth for both companies, delighting our customers by saving them both time and money.”
Acquisition has 'raised the stakes' in e-commerce
Jack O'Leary, senior analyst at PlanetRetail RNG, said the acquisition had “raised the stakes” in Latin America's e-commerce market.
Speaking of the Mexican market, O'Leary told FoodNavigator-LATAM: “Online grocery will look to take share, first in urban centers with more affluent shoppers before spreading more widely. (…) Walmart is preparing for this future.”
Just this month, Amazon launched a dedicated food and beverage platform in Mexico – a move analysts said was strategic but not without competition, partly because of the Walmart-Cornershop buyout.
Walmart also has omni-channel presence in Argentina through Mercadoni and MercadoLibre.
Under the latest acquisition, Cornershop will continue to operate independently and its original three founders will still head up the business.
“Cornershop will remain an open platform that will continue to deliver from a variety of retailers, extending the convenience and availability of food, health & wellness and packaged goods for customers in Mexico and Chile,” Walmart said.