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Costa Rica: Supermarkets compete for high-income clients

Supermarket chains Grupo Empresarial de Supermercados (Gessa) and Walmart from Mexico and Central America are struggling to gain ground in the segment of high-income customers, a niche market so far dominated by Automercado. 

Gessa will launch its 'premium' Saretto Supermarket format, a shop it bought in 2012, once again in late May. "We'll give Saretto a makeover this year and in 2014 we will begin expanding the brand," said Elizabeth Chacon, manager of Corporate Relations.

Meanwhile, Walmart is still in the process of converting their Mas x Menos (More for Less) store in their brand aimed at more affluent customers. The multinational has renovated 17 of its 29 local stores, as part of their Revolution program.

"With the changes, we are offering our customers a warm and comfortable ambiance, conveying attributes of freshness and quality," said Yolanda Fernandez, Manager of Corporate Relations for Walmart.

Automercado is not slouching and plans to open three new locations this year in Guachipelín (in the District 4 project), in Alajuela (close to Hacienda Los Reyes), and in Santo Domingo.

"We have a special department that looks for the products, from different countries, that our customers like," said Diego Alonso, Commercial Vice President.

Source: Nació

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