The worldwide famous Walmart brand is saying goodbye to Argentina as its stores are being repainted following the chain's buy over by Colombian-born local businessman Francisco De Narváez.
De Narváez, who once tried his luck in politics, owns the local Changomás chain. He bought over Walmart's Argentina division for around US $ 44 million ten months ago and is now beginning to rename it: Híper Changomás.
The move aims at distancing the new business platform from its former US matrix, although it will retain colours similar to the Walmart logo (light blue and yellow) for the “Hiper” variants as opposed to the green prevailing at smaller, original Changomás facilities nationwide.
Hiper Changomás will encompass 52 large stores operated under the Changomás brand and another 31 from Walmart. The idea is to reconvert inside and outside the 92 branches spread over 22 provinces, in which 9,400 employees work. The first step is the gradual withdrawal of the Walmart brand, a move which has already taken place at five large stores: in Luján, Avellaneda, Olavarría, Corrientes and Resistencia, Chaco.
The company has not released any information as to when it intends to have all its branches renamed and repainted.
The Changomás group is said to control around 12% of the Argentine supermarket business, behind Carrefour, Coto and Cencosud (Jumbo / Disco / Vea).
It is also the ninth-largest employer nationwide.