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By Dan Freed
MEXICO CITY, March 14 Wal-Mart de Mexico
, Mexico's biggest retailer, plans to increase
spending by nearly 19 percent in 2017, upgrading and adding new
stores and investing in e-commerce, a top executive said on
Walmex, as the company is known, will spend 17 billion pesos
($864.80 million) in 2017, above the 14.3 billion pesos they
spent last year, Chief Financial Officer Pedro Farah told
investors during a company presentation.
Walmex continues to see opportunities to add stores and has
become more efficient with its construction projects, according
to Gaston Wainstein, Walmex head of real estate.
However, Central America head Carlos Arroyo said the region
is not growing as quickly as the company would like, which is
limiting the number of stores it is prepared to build there.
Walmex also said it is paying 35 percent more in bonuses to
its low-level employees this year than it did a year ago. It
also plans to open a second meat-cutting plant in the northern
Mexican city of Monterrey, executives said on Tuesday.
Executives from the retailer, controlled by Wal-Mart Stores
Inc, repeatedly emphasized investments in e-commerce.
"We don't think e-commerce is a loss leader," said Todd
Harbaugh, head of Mexico operations, calling it a driver of
growth, profit and capital efficiency.
($1 = 19.6577 Mexican pesos)
(Reporting by Dan Freed in Mexico City; Editing by Leslie