OXXO Opens First U.S. Convenience Store

"Proof of concept" not part of larger U.S. expansion plan, company says

OXXO (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores)

MONTERREY, Mexico -- In a move that it has been planning for five years, OXXO is preparing to open its first convenience store in the United States, reported El Financiero. In early May, it will open a store in Eagle Pass, Texas, bordering Piedras Negras in Mexico.

Monterrey, Mexico-based beverage company Fomento Economico Mexicano(FEMSA), which operates more than 11,000 OXXO c-stores in Mexico and throughout Latin America, denied that the opening of this store represents an expansion plan into the United States, said the report.

"It's just a shop that [has been] installed as proof of concept. … It cannot be taken as [a] pilot," said FEMSA Comercio.

Previously, given the momentum that the stores give beer brands Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, there was a limitation to enter the market American; however, this situation relaxed with the arrival of Heineken as a partner, the report said.

"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 United States] from the border and in cities in Texas, where there is more Mexican public, " an unidentified source told the newspaper.

Marco Antonio Torres, an expert on border businesses, speculated that if this store manages to be successful, Oxxo could start opening stores in more towns and cities in Mexico that have a high concentration of Spanish-speaking people across the border in the United States.

"The entry of Oxxo [into] the United States coincides with the massive arrival to Mexico of the Circle K chain," Torres told the paper.

In February, Mexico City-based brewer Grupo Modelo sold its 880-unit Extra c-store chain in Mexico to Circulo K, an independent franchisor for Mexico to which a subsidiary of Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has granted a license for the rights to the Circle K brand in Mexico.

Click here to view the full El Financiero report (Spanish).