US: Wal-Mart to scale back Mexico store openings
Wal-Mart has said it will scale back new store openings in Mexico as the firm continues to investigate accusations that bribes were paid for permits to open branches in the country.
In a statement, the company said it expected to open 325 to 335 new stores in Mexico this year, a reduction from the 410 to 436 it announced in February.
The retailer said total investment would also be cut this year to MXN17.5bn (US$1.25bn) from MXN19.7bn.
The company, however, said it maintains its "optimistic view for growth opportunities" and will continue to invest in the region.
Wal-Mart is currently under investigation by Mexico's attorney general over allegations the retailer's local unit bribed officials to make it easier to open stores in the country. The group is also facing an investigation from the US Department of Justice into the allegations.
The retailer, however, said the delay to its new store opening programme was due to "addition steps the company is adding to its real estate process that extend the average time required to open a store".
"These steps include reinforcing documentation that supports real estate projects and enhancing processes with our business partners," the company said in a statement.
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