Mexican hypermarket chain Soriana opened 11 outlets in the first half of 2005 and has ambitious expansion plans in its home market, local newswire Notimex reported.

Soriana inaugurated a new Soriana hypermarket, three new City Club discount markets and seven new Mercado Soriana supermarkets to elevate its store count to 173 across Mexico, the news service said.

Soriana officials could not be reached for comment. Catering to the bargain-hunting consumer, Soriana has carved itself a niche with the country's low-income and middle classes becoming Mexico's second-biggest retailer after Wal-Mart de Mexico, according to the Hoovers business research site.