Retail Sector in Mexico

Mexico’s dynamic economy is set to be one of the top seven in the world by 2050. Also it is the main trading nation in Latin America. Mexico has a long list of free trade agreements in the world and is ranked by the World Bank as the best place to do business in Latin America.

Market overview

According to Business Monitor International, retail sales in Mexico are expected to grow from US$202.82bn in 2012 to US$254.72bn by 2016, a rise of 14.3%.

Further, BMI forecasts that the total MGR market will grow by 40.8% between 2012 and 2016 to reach US$104.87bn.

Key Opportunities

Modern retail formats are expected to continue to post strong growth rates over the forecast period, as consumers are attracted by greater product variety, convenience and competitive pricing.

Opportunities for UK Retail companies in Mexico are growing – key areas are detailed below:

  • Mass Grocery Retail: Modern mass grocery retail (MGR) in Mexico has become fairly concentrated, with the four leading operators accounting for more than 60% of all sales. Supermarkets and hypermarkets are expected to continue to experience a steady growth of 24.2% and 24.0% respectively, between 2012 and 2016, while convenience stores are expected to outperform and deliver growth of more than 26% over the forecast period.

The biggest opportunity for MGRs in the short to medium term is to fill the ‘big retailer’ gap that exists outside the main urban areas of Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara. In smaller cities and towns, and in suburban parts of the big cities, less than 50% of grocery purchases are made in MGRs – much less in many cases.

  • Shopping Malls: Malls in Mexico are classified in three major categories. ‘Power centre malls’ are those with a supermarket as an anchor store, together with other sub anchor clothing or electronics stores.

The second category is ‘fashion malls’, in which the anchor store is a department store, and fashion stores dominate.

The final category is ‘neighbourhood malls’, which are service centres that include small retail premises such as banks, dry cleaners and other destination stores.

Latest export opportunities – Food & Drink Sector

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Latest export opportunities – Mexico

Getting into the Market

British companies wishing to develop their business in the Mexican market are advised to undertake as much market research and planning as possible in the UK. UKTI’s team in Mexico, with its wide local knowledge and experience, can provide a range of services to British-based companies wishing to grow their business in the Mexican markets.

This can include:

• Provision of market information.

• Validated lists of agents/distributors.

• Key market players or potential customers in the Mexican market.

• Establishment of interest of such contacts in working with you.

• Arrangement of appointments.

• Organisation of seminars or other events for you to meet contacts and promotion of your company in the Mexican market.

To find out more about commissioning this work, or accessing other UKTI services and specialist advice, please visit the UKTI website to find contact details for your local UKTI office


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists based overseas – or contact your local international trade team.

Contact your local international trade team

Major Events

Expo ANTAD. Guadalajara.

March 2013

UKTI events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest UKTI events – Food & Drink sector

Latest UKTI events – Business & Consumer Services

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Wholesale & Retail
Countries: Mexico
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