A wave of consolidation is expected to decrease the number of major players in the Mexican retail market this year.

Merger and acquisition activity has been widely touted by industry watchers, with French major Carrefour tipped to exit the market. According to El Economista, either Soriana or Comercial Mexicana (Comerci) is likely to acquire the 28 Carrefour stores if the French group withdraws.

The publication names Soriana as most likely to stand out in 2005, as it has robust finances and good profitability, while Wal-Mart is also expected to perform soundly. Comerci, meanwhile, could face a tough year.