Today as we write is September 19, 2019 and two years ago on this date our building jumped up in the air when a massive earthquake struck Mexico City. The city’s devastating 1985 earthquake also struck on September 19. It’s not like we’re superstitious or anything, but, uh, just to be on the safe side the municipal government conducted a city-wide earthquake drill at 10:00 a.m. this morning. Granted, we had a drill on the morning of the earthquake two years ago, and we all made jokes and went back to work, then a couple hours later we were stumbling around on the street with broken glass and concrete dust all over us. So far, today, so good. Continue reading Roma and Condesa two years later
Ten years ago we were crawling around in the smoldering wreckage of the 2008 financial crisis, hoping to survive the economic nuclear winter on grubs and bark. Heaven knows there were some lean times there but somewhere along the way things must have turned around because in more recent years, to hear the media tell it, the North American economy had become Biggie Smalls, spending its days smoking blunts and drinking Cristal with chickenheads in a jacuzzi and it was all good. Biggie’s long dead of course and the media are now auguring a similar fate for the NAFTA-zone economy, and much like back-to-school, we feel like we’re not ready for the heady summer of fun to end. Continue reading Economic slowdown the talk of the town
The Mexican retail sector registered a sluggish year in 2018, posting same-store sales growth of just 0.1% and all-stores growth of 3.5% for the year, according to the National Retailers Association (ANTAD). Retail performance showed deceleration at year-end, posting the slowest fourth quarter expansion since 2014. On the plus side, sales during Mexico’s four-day “Buen Fin “ (Black Friday) promotion in 2018 grew 8% with respect to the previous year, the national chambers of commerce, services and tourism (Concanaco Servytur) reported. On-line sales during the promotion jumped 50% for the same period, demonstrating ongoing advances in consumers’ shift to shopping on line.
ANTAD is adopting a cautious outlook for 2019, projecting a 2.2% increase in all-stores sales but a contraction of 1% in same-store sales for the current year. The growth of electronic commerce remains a leading trend for the industry, with Mexico striving to exceed US$20 billion in on-line sales for the year with the hope of surpassing Brazil as Latin America’s top e-commerce market. Industry analysts project that policies proposed by the new Mexican administration could provide a boost to retail. These include monthly stipend programs for qualifying members of segments such as youth, elderly and the disabled, as well as a 16% increase in the minimum wage. Bodega Aurrerá is expected to benefit in particular from these measures across its formats. Also, the new government reduced the VAT tax in the northern zone along the U.S. border to 8% from 16%, which is expected to provide a sales bump to store chains well established in the area such as Soriana, Walmart, Casa Ley, HEB and Super Norte.