In March 2004, American based Wal-Mart bought the Bompreco chain from Dutch group Ahold, paying US$ 300 million (Ahold was in financial troubles, which may have brought the price down).
This caused Wal-Mart to jump to the third place in the ranking of Brazilian retail salers. The group had already been in Brazil since 1995, but growing very slowly (it was difficult, just like it had been before in Germany, to implant the almost-religious Wal-Mart culture among Brazilian employees), based on the opening of new shops; now, the policy seems to have shifted to the acquisition of other established chains.
The ranking of Brazilian retail, for year 2002, already adjusted by the Wal-Mart recent purchase, is:
Pao de Acucar, total sales of R$ 12 billion. This Brazilian group was market leader for decades before the market opening in the 1990s. The group went through significant re-structuration (including profissionalization of the directors board) and managed to recover leadership. The name means "Sugar Loaf".
Carrefour, the giant French group. Total sales of R$ 10 billion.
Wal Mart, sales of R$ 5.2 billion, including Wal Mart and
Sonae, a Portuguese group which grew in Brazil also by acquiring existant medium Brazilian chains. Sales of R$ 3.3 billion.
Sendas, a Brazilian group. Sales of R$ 2.5 billion.
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