lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

Retail chain, Walmart Mexico and Central America, confirmed, yesterday, that they are building two new stores on the island, with plans to open in late June this year.

The Sam’s Club membership warehouse and Bodega Aurrera discount superstore are being constructed next to each other, in a new development area just over a mile inland from downtown Cozumel.


Antonio Ocaranza, the retail group's Director of Corporate Communication in Mexico, told This is Cozumel, "Cozumel is a city ripe for our investment with a thriving tourism industry and a growing population that demands a wide variety of products at the lowest price."

The Sam's Club warehouse will work on a customer membership basis, offering discounted fresh foods, health and beauty products, office supplies and other goods and services.

At the Bodega Aurrera superstore, islanders will be able to buy a range of over 500 low price food, drink and household products.

With a total of 126,530 square feet (11,755 sqm) the two new stores will cover an area a little larger than two NFL football fields.

The site on 11th Avenue, between 75th and 80th Avenues, has been cleared already, but work on the structures has not yet begun, leading some locals to be sceptical they will open less than 3 months from now.

However, Ocaranza maintained that late June is the target date and said his company is making a total investment of 233.5 million pesos ($19.7 million) in the stores, which he said will create 333 permanent jobs on the island.

He added that there will also be "a spill-over effect of benefits" for the local community, due to the low costs of the goods and services they will offer, and the fact they try to source products locally whenever possible.

The opening of the stores is being met with a mixture of excitement and dismay in Cozumel.

While some local residents think the island's growth needs new retailers and see it as a sign of progress, others fear that Cozumel's "village feel" is being lost forever.

Walmart Mexico and Central America is 68% owned by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in the United States and has a number of retail brands, including Sam’s Club and Bodega Aurrera.

They have over 2,000 stores in 390 cities across Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Visit our Things To Do section for more information about shopping in Cozumel.