Walmart expanding online retail in Latin America, China

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has expanded its international e-commerce presence through new websites in Latin America and China, which were launched in November 2010, according to newspaper Financial Times.

In late November, Walmart - the world's largest retailer by sales volume - launched new websites focused on online retail in Chile and Argentina, in addition to a retail site launched in June 2010 in Mexico.

According to Walmart, global e-commerce represents a "multibillion-dollar opportunity" for the retailer. Experts estimate that Latin America's e-commerce is worth US$30bn, compared with US$40bn in China and US$170bn in the US.

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In Mexico, the new retail site sells toys, consumer electronics and home appliances, while in Argentina the site is mainly focused on home grocery delivery in Buenos Aires. In Chile, which has the highest broadband penetration and credit card use in the region, Walmart's retail site sells electronics, home furnishings, books, music and fashion accessories.

Walmart's head of international business, Doug McMillon, said the company will initially focus its online retail expansion on markets where it already has stores that can be utilized to deliver goods.