Wal-Mart shifts focus south of the border

Getty Images

Wal-Mart is shifting its growth strategy south of the border, planning to open up to 35 Central America locations in 2014, according to a report in Women's Wear Daily.

The change in tactics comes in wake of a bribery investigation involving the retailer's operations in Mexico, which dramatically slowed the discounter's growth in the country, analysts told the publication.

According the the report, the company's Walmex unit—made up of its Mexico and Central America operations—will look to add between 30 and 35 stores in Central America this year. Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras could all house new Walmex locations, the retailer's regional corporate affairs director, Aquileo Sánchez Viquez, told the newspaper.

Although allegations of Wal-Mart executives bribing Mexican officials began to surface in 2012, Sanchez said the scandal is not the reason why the retailer is looking elsewhere in the region for growth.

To read the full report, click here.