As Wal-Mart deals with allegations that the company bribed officials in Mexico to speed building permits and gain other favors, the company is attempting to purchase stores from existing retail companies to expand into non-white countries across the globe.
In addition to Mexico, nations such as Brazil, Colombia, Japan and Latin America are all locations to which the Arkansas-based behemoth is trying to expand. In the meantime, the company is facing a Congressional investigation and the possibility of dozens of lawsuits from the matter in Mexico.
A report in The New York Times two months ago revealed that Wal-Mart officials in Mexico allegedly paid millions of dollars in bribes to officials, which is a violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials. Democratic congressmen Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Henry Waxman of California, who are leading a Congressional investigation, have complained that Wal-Mart hasn’t been cooperative.
“Wal-Mart’s actions to date significantly inhibit our ability to investigate these allegations,” they stated in a letter to Wal-Mart that was obtained by the Associated Press.
To expand into Latin-America, Wal-Mart has been talking to Carrefour SA to acquire some of its Latin-American properties, but talks have slowed.
Wal-Mart is particularly interested in overseas because revenue abroad has increased at 10 times the pace of U.S. sales.
“Wal-Mart is realizing that the best strategy is buying something” rather than building something new, Bryan Gildenberg, an analyst with Kantar Retail, told Gulfnews.com. “Colombia is a growing market and Wal-Mart isn’t there.”