Wal-Mart opening 24 new stores in Costa Rica this year

Wal-mart of Mexico and Central America announced Tuesday afternoon that it will open 24 new stores and create 839 new jobs in Costa Rica this year.

The vice president and general director the Mexico and Central America branch of Wal-Mart, Alberto Ebrard, announced the company plans a $160.5 million investment in Costa Rica. The announcement was made during a meeting with President Laura Chinchilla. Wal-Mart is the parent company of several Costa Rican grocery chains: Hipermás, Maxi Bodega, Max x Menos and Palí. Only recently did the supermarket giant choose to put its name on the facade of national supermarkets.

“To bring the Wal-Mart name here is  a show of confidence that we are planning on bringing consumers the type of quality service and offerings that characterize Wal-Mart,” Yolanda Fernández, the manager of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart Mexico and Central America, in an article published last week in The Tico Times. “We want them to know that there is always something better” (TT, April 8).

Wal-Mart plans to invest an estimated $378 million in Central America in 2011, the largest investment in the history of Wal-Mart in Central America. In Costa Rica, Wal-Mart has already opened two new San José locations in 2011, Palí Cristo Rey and Palí San Rafael de Montes de Oca.