San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Fried Chicken Chain To Partner with Wal-Mart

Guatemalan-based fried chicken chain Pollo Campero announced a partnership with Wal-Mart last week that will bring restaurants inside U.S. stores of the retail giant.

It’s the latest effort by Pollo Campero to expand in the United States. The company has a goal of 500 additional stores in the next five years, according to a release by the company.

Since the expansion began in 2002, 32 restaurants have already opened in cities with large concentrations of Central American immigrants such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas.

Campero has had unprecedented success following migration patterns of immigrants from the Central American countries it first settled. Campero, which was founded in 1971 in Guatemala City, first established a presence in Central America, opening restaurants in every country, except Panama.

Huge sales from restaurants in airports in Guatemala and El Salvador in the 1990s prompted Campero to consider expanding north.

But Campero’s ambitions are not confined to the United States. Restaurants have opened in Spain, Ecuador, Mexico, China and Indonesia. In total, Campero has 257 stores worldwide.

In the United States,Wal-Mart’s high Latino customer base was an attraction for Campero, according to the release.

Wal-Mart’s more than 4,000 stores in the United States cast a wide net of customers. Just last month, the retail giant opened an additional 36 stores, according to a release on its Web site.

“Our clients today come from different origins and from every type of socioeconomic conditions,” said Gisel Ruiz, vice-president and regional general manager for Wal-Mart, in a statement.

“Many of them are Latin American and represent one of the fastest growing markets (in the U.S.).”


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