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Currency volatility and reduced consumer spend have proved challenging for Chile-based Cencosud, who appointed a new CEO and new regional business leaders during Q3. We dive further into the retailers Q3’s results and its performance in all its markets.

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We review the latest news from Walgreens Boots Alliance in Chile and Thailand.

Boots, Thailand: new MD

Boots Retail Thailand announces the appointment of new Managing Director, Mike Wanliss.

He will take up the new role on 21 January 2019, reporting into Dean Thompson, VP and regional managing director for Asia international retail.

Wanliss brings with him 40 years’ experience in the retail industry. He joins the business from M.H. Alshaya Co, a leading international franchise operator, where he has acted as VP Boots Middle East since 2011.

Wanliss has also carried out leadership roles at both Woolworths and Cooperative Pharmacy.

Farmacias Ahumada, Chile: regaining its leadership position

In Chile, Farmacias Ahumada has undergone a series of changes throughout the past eight months, designed to rebuild its reputation in the industry. These changes include:

Farmacias Ahumada, Chile: investing in people

In April, Juan Martin Monsalve was appointed as the new CEO for Farmacias Ahumada.

Monsalve reports directly into Nicholas Osorio, who has been acting as interim MD for WBA Latin America since August 2016.

Monsalve joins the retailer from Walmart Chile where he acted as VP for general merchandise.

There have also been further changes throughout the business, with changes to around 80% of employees. These changes have focused on commercial, systems, logistics and operations teams.

Farmacias Ahumada, Chile: reasserting its healthcare and pharmacy proposition

Farmacias Ahumada is also committed to reasserting its position as a healthcare company, as opposed to a retailer.

The retailer has made adaptions to ranges. Focus has shifted away from food categories, and more towards the provision of specialist medicines.

The retailer is focusing on remodelling its existing stores in line with its Parque Arauco Pharmacy, designed to improve the beauty and pharmacy in-store experience.

Want to know more?

Retail Analysis subscribers can download and read our strategic outlook for WBA here.

Chilean based retailer Cencosud continues to experience challenges in 2018, leading to decreasing revenue. We look at its Q2 results in more detail. This includes each markets performance and how it plans on improving results through delivering a strong omnichannel proposition.

Challenging start to the year

Cencosud's Q2 results follow the pattern of Q1 with declining performance due to the heavy impact of currency fluctuations. Other Latin America-based retailers however have achieved positive performance. For example, Grupo Èxito Q2 results were +8.7% suggesting Cencosud could be facing other challenges.

Cencosud's results were;

  • Overall revenue -6.9%
  • At a constant exchange rate revenue +8.3%
  • Supermarket revenue -9%
  • Chile’s year-on-year was +2.3%. The positive performance was driven by increased promotional activity
  • Argentina’s year-on-year was -24.8%. Despite increased promotional activity the retailer was hampered by the challenging macroeconomic background in the market
  • Brazil’s year-on-year was -15.2%
  • Peru’s year-on-year was -5%. Sales were partially offset by the remodelling of one store
  • Colombia’s year-on-year was -5.5%. Higher online and apparel sales helped improve the results

Omnichannel progress

Cencosud has invested heavily in developing its omnichannel proposition. The aim is to generate better performance in the future as shoppers become more accustomed to using the channel. This investment continues and shows positive results. This will continue to be a priority for development in the future.

  • Online channel +54.1%
  • Reached +3.6% penetration compared to +2.2% 2Q2017
  • Click and collect is now in 267 stores
  • Drive thru is at 40 stores
  • Order from store to home in 133 stores
  • Self-checkout has been installed across multiple stores in Argentina, Chile and Peru

The retailer has also been continuously developing new technology internally to make processes more efficient such as; automated lighting, printed promotional posters about robotics to update stock prices.

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We look at the top five stories in grocery retailing in Latin America over the last month.

1. Walmart buys 52 stores in Costa Rica

Walmart has purchased 52 stores from Costa Rican retailer, Gessa. These are currently under the control of Grupo Empresarial de Supermercados. Gessa has four banners; Peri, Super Buy, Saretto and Express Day. They cater to a wide range of economic needs and different shopper types.

This will bring Walmart’s stores in the market to 302. Walmart has recently accelerated growth plans in the region, after opening 50 stores in 2017.

2. Carrefour develops zero-waste products in Brazil

Carrefour brazil has launched a new project through its Carrefour Foundation platform. Its aim is to develop zero-waste recipes and production lines. This is in conjunction with Gastromotiva, an NGO that uses social gastronomy to promote inclusion and sustainability. Carrefour will invest around EUR320,000 (US$374,803) in the project.

3. Colombian coffee chain Tostao launches a new premium concept

Tostao has launched a new service called Tostao Station in two stores in Bogota. It aims to encourage shoppers to spend longer in store with features such as free wi-fi. Stores will have a more premium product range but will be the same low prices as other stores. They are also larger, between 130-140 m2 compared to the standard 50-60 m2.

The retailer is hoping to roll out this concept across the city. There are currently 411 Tostao stores and the retailer in looking to reach 500 by 2019.

4. Rappi expands into Chile

Colombia-based third-party delivery service Rappi has entered the Chilean market. The service is currently present in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. The service will keep its promise to deliver the order within 35 minutes, or the product will be free. It has been launched first in Santiago. Shoppers will be able to pay by cash or card.

5. Makro launches its own store on Mercado Libre

Makro has launched an official store within the online retailer Mercado Libre. At first it will be promoting non-food categories and will slowly add in others. The retailer is also looking to expand its click-and-collect service to all its branches in the country and enable home delivery.

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We look at five themes, including the growth of discounters and the continued strength of the atacajero format, that are set to shape the region's grocery markets in 2019 and beyond. With case studies from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, amongst others, and retailers like Carrefour, GPA and Walmart, the presentation highlights the challenges and opportunities the region is expected to provide manufacturers in the short term.
With internet penetration and smartphone ownership growing in Latin America we explore the growth of online grocery.
We review the outlook for Walmart globally and in key markets, including US, China, Mexico and India, as it pushes ahead with its strategic plan centred on making every day easier for busy families. We also look at the retailer's evolving strategy for international markets, how it is aiming to be the most trusted retailer and deliver results and operate with discipline, and how this is set to impact on its five year growth prospects.
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Key presentation

This in-depth guide to Chile explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.

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We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Retail Analysis the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

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