OXXO, Mexico’s largest convenience store group, recently opened their first American store in Eagle Pass, Texas – an area that borders Piedras Negras in Mexico. Plans to open the store had been in the works for five years as the chain encountered challenges with their offering of beer brands, which limited their entering the market. However, the situation relaxed after Heineken became a partner.
A source reported that, “After several attempts and with the flexibility they now have with her Dutch partner, now are ready to conquer the U.S. market, but it certainly will go step by step, looking to validate the range of products and services required by the consumer United States, so (Oxxo would enter the US) from the border and in cities in Texas, where there is more Mexican public,.”
The Monterrey, Mexico-based beverage company, Fomento Economico Mexicano (FEMSA), which operates more than 11,721 OXXO convenience stores in Mexico and Colombia, denied that the opening of this store represents an expansion plan into the United States, but explains, “It’s just a shop that’s been installed as proof of concept. It cannot be taken as a pilot,” and not a larger part of any US expansion plan.
Border business expert Marco Antonio Torres, speculates that if OXXO manages to be successful, it could begin opening stores in other US towns and cities that have a high Spanish-speaking population. He notes that, “The entry of OXXO in the US coincides with the massive arrival to Mexico of the Circle K chain.”