Wal-mart, Home depot, et al. are coming!!

Don Juan

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Dec 5, 2003
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According to today's DR1 front page, It quotes Listin Diario as saying that within the first three months of 2008, at least two US supermarket chains will open in DR.
This comes about as a result of the DR-CAFTA agreement. It goes on to say that the new chains would increase competitiveness, product demand/choice, and generate increased revenues.( it's not clear for whom the revenues would increase).
I, for one, am elated by this news and see it as the beginning of the end for the big business and monopolies in DR who specialize in price gouging and insider price fixing to the detriment of all consumers.

BTW. This may be great fodder for one of your polls, NALS.

I see it as a good thing, others, may not.
 

dms3611

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Jan 14, 2002
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Keep dreaming about those chains opening up......

......will make HUGE job opportunities to take the place of all the free zone closures.........time you take stores that size with all the checkouts and then multiply that number by the number of people checking the checkout multiplied by the checkers that check the people that check the checkout, multiplied by the checkers at the door that checks the receipt one more time....should come out to 1,000's employed overnight.........
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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"Wanna Bet?"

Heard it all before! Hearing it all again!

Takes more than DRCAFTA to make the DR atractive to the International Giants!

The "Climate" here is not condusive to profitable "outsiders" coming in!

I will adopt a "Wait And See" attitude. Later I will adopt an "I Told You So!" attitude!
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drtampa

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Oct 1, 2004
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Appliances

Sure would be nice to have Sears come for appliances. In the states they now carry all brands and service them also.
 

amparocorp

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Aug 11, 2002
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i remember when SD had no Mc Donalds, no burger king, no dominos pizza. people said it was impossible to attract US chains, that the DR was too ____. that the government was too _____. dominicans wouldn't like ____. and i suppose that these chains aren't making any money either, that's why they stay......................there is a steamroller approaching.................
 
Sep 19, 2005
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I dont see those big chains opening a store ..JUST because they dont have one close by!!!!!!!

they do studies to see feasability , and any place that has an unemployement rate like many cities in the DR, wont be attractive to a big chain.

the people with money to spend...wont want to shop at Walmart....

besides it seems that workers in the DR have more rights in regards to getting displaced from the company than americans do here....

and those big chains save money ANYPLACE they can....even with the low wage rate...if you throw in all the severance they would have to pay for people they have to can who dont work out...or get caught stealing....it would be a huge increase over what they pay for getting rid of someone in the states.....

besides...if any of you have ever been in stores like La Sirena(sp?)... they have some CHEAP junk...in there.....plus there are tons of stores that have just PILES of goods stacked on top of each other for cheap cheap cheap.....

seems like a tight market in a place with suspect cash flow issues.....

thats all from a non expert in buisness though... ha ha ha

bob
 

HOWMAR

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Jan 28, 2004
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and those big chains save money ANYPLACE they can....even with the low wage rate...if you throw in all the severance they would have to pay for people they have to can who dont work out...or get caught stealing....it would be a huge increase over what they pay for getting rid of someone in the states.....

bob
FYI.
Dominican Labor Code doesn't require payment of liquidation if termination is made in the first 90 days (i.e. the employee didn't "work out") or for cause (i.e. "got caught stealing").
 

DavidZ

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Aug 29, 2005
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I went to a symposium 2 years ago on the impact of DR-CAFTA on the Caribbean Basin and US business. It was put on by FIU (Florida Int'l University) and consulates from the DR, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and one or two other CA countries. One of the main topics discussed were which American retailers were currently doing or had completed feasability studies of opening stores in the FTA countries. All of the stores mentioned in the article above and several others were profiled, and the issues discussed in this thread (infrastructure, power, employee wages/rights, prices, local competition, availabilty of goods, etc. were all addressed.

This was two years ago, when DR-CAFTA was supposedly only a few months away. The reason Im bringing this up is because these companies weren't just considering opening here, and in the other CA countries, they were ready and waiting for DR-CAFTA to take effect. While not all of these companies will rush to open stores here, several definitely will.

And my view of Walmart, for example, opening here is a little different from Bob's. If/when they come here, it wont be like La Sirena, Jumbo, or the other "DR Walmarts"... and thats why they have (IMO) a good shot at doing well. They have the knowledge and ability to provide goods, service level, and the shopping experience these other stores can't seem to provide. There wont be piles of junk for sale, disgusting bathrooms, empty shelves, mispriced items, etc. And there is a critical mass of potential shoppers in and around Santo Domingo, Santiago, maybe SFdM, Puerto Plata, and down the road Samana, Barahona, etc. In the states, sometimes geographic areas with less than 100,000 people have 2 or 3 Walmarts within a few miles of each other, and they are located in areas of every economic measure.

And as for who shops there...though some may not admit it...the demographic is pretty much across the board...even wealthy people appreciate the selection and prices...even if they have to send "the help" to shop there...

Another interesting thing about Walmart specifically, is after their bad press about employee practices a few years ago, they instituted a company-wide "greening" campaign. Supposedly, their stores are the most energy efficient and environment-friendly of any major retailer...if that policy comes here, it could have an additional positive effect, who knows...
 

engels64

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Feb 27, 2007
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Agree with David

Stores like Walmart will provide not only cheap goods but a shopping experience for people in the DR. I think if they do open stores in the near future they will probably do rather well. Let's wait and see how that goes...
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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Wal Mart isn't that different from LaSirena. Now that CAFTA is in effect, maybe LaSirena will broaden their selection of goods.
 

DavidZ

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Aug 29, 2005
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La Sirena and the big Jumbos *try* to be like Walmart, but fail miserably when it comes to selection, cleanliness, customer service, etc... DR-CAFTA may allow them to offer more imported goods at reasonable proces, but it will take competition from an american-style store like Walmart, Target, etc to improve the "shopping experience"...
 

dingdongdenny

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Jan 6, 2007
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walmart , well there goes the neighbourhood.they just opened here,and 8 to 10 ma and pa business's closed. did away with 30 to 40 decent paying jobs(full time) to be replaced with minimum wage, no benifits,part time , jobs.
be carfull what you wish for it may come true.
 

HOWMAR

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Jan 28, 2004
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walmart , well there goes the neighbourhood.they just opened here,and 8 to 10 ma and pa business's closed. did away with 30 to 40 decent paying jobs(full time) to be replaced with minimum wage, no benifits,part time , jobs.
be carfull what you wish for it may come true.
Most retail store employees in the DR already work for minimum wages and the benefits called for by the Labor Code. It will make no difference, just more jobs.
 

Chirimoya

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2002
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They're probably delighted to be entering a market where they can pay people little more than US$100 a month... If they were to pay their DR employees anything near what they pay their US counterparts there would be a stampede for jobs.
 

MrMike

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Mar 2, 2003
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Given that when Dominicans go to New York they do ALOT of shopping at Wal-Mart and Target, I believe there is every reason to think either or both of those chains would do well here. I also do NOT believe they would drive smaller businesses out of business, but would almost definitely put a hurting on the big monopolistic stores.

But we have to look at the difference between Pricesmart here and Pricesmart in the US to understand what it REALLY MEANS. The prices, selection and customer service levels will almost certainly not be the same. They will be just as good as they have to be for the branch to accomplish its goals, the DR is a seller's market and I doubt the Walton kids are stupid enough to do anything but exploit that.
 

DavidZ

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But we have to look at the difference between Pricesmart here and Pricesmart in the US to understand what it REALLY MEANS. The prices, selection and customer service levels will almost certainly not be the same. They will be just as good as they have to be for the branch to accomplish its goals, the DR is a seller's market and I doubt the Walton kids are stupid enough to do anything but exploit that.

True... to a point, keep in mind PriceSmart is not in the US, it's a chain of Licensed Caribbean/Latin American stores (founded by an American, Sol Price) related to Sam's Club and Costco, but not the same stores. But I'd say PriceSmart does a much better job of looking like Costco than La Sirena or Jumbo does looking like Walmart (except for the supermarket part)...

I think if Walmart, Target, Home Depot, etc open stores here, they will keep American managers in place to ensure a certain level of quality, they won't scale down their product to meet the local market...at least at first...
 

NALs

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Jan 20, 2003
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I also do NOT believe they would drive smaller businesses out of business, but would almost definitely put a hurting on the big monopolistic stores.
If we are talking of legitimate businesses, then I think small businesses will find themselves tremendously squeezed by such competition and eventually will have to call it quits. The larger local chains are much better in adopting new technology, new management style, etc in order to accomplish productivity as high as those of the new foreign competitors.

Look at the supermarket segment, prior to Pricemart entering the Dominican market, supermarkets in the DR were highly inefficient, not much variety, etc. Once Pricemart and Carrefour and other foreign supermarkets and hypermarkets entered the Dominican market, suddenly the presence of those much more productive enterprises caused a ripple effect through those segment of the economy and increase productivity across the board.

Afterwards, local supermakets began to increase their productivity, in many cases matching the productivity of Pricemart, and you got what exist today; chains of local supermarkets indistiguishable from supermarkets in much of the world offering everything from Heinz Ketchup and Entements cupcakes at competitive prices, modern facilities, etc.

The local chains opted to modernize themselves rather than go out of business and that helped them stay in business. Other stores like Americana Departamento and Ferreteria Hache, etc expanded into other niches beyond their original market niche in order to compete with the new foreign hypermarkets like Carrefour.

If, however, we are talking of illegitimate small businesses, it would be hard to say if they will go out of business, given that illegitimate small business, despite being extremely inefficient (take a look at any colmado, the inefficiency is obvious from the way everything is set up to the large amount of time employees waste behind the counter when they could be more productive doing something else, etc). Such inefficiency and lack of product diversity is reflected in the prices being higher than they probably would be in a hypermarket which could take advantage of economies of scale.

So, why do small illegitimate businesses still manage to compete with large legitimate businesses?

The answer lies in the fact that most small illegitimate businesses don't pay taxes. When it comes to chiriperos and such, they don't even keep records of anything, much less will they pay any taxes. The large legitimate stores pay very high taxes and part of the reason why taxes are so high has to do with the widespread evasion of taxes by all the little illegitimate guys.

Most of those small illegitimate business employees would had been more productive working for a large legitimate business and the prices would be much lower if the illegitimate businesses were either eliminated or made legit.

The problem lies in people not wanting to follow the rules and other people with bleeding hearts who prefer to keep small illegitimate businesses in business, despite the inefficiencies and lower productivity which hampers development in the long run.

Stores like Wal-Mart will be good in the legitimate business sector, but for the illegitimate sector its questionable if they will get much effect from that since Wal-Mart will be subjected to the taxes those illegitimate business don't pay!

Let's wait and see.

-NALs
 

Don Juan

Living Brain Donor
Dec 5, 2003
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Where does Burger King get its meat??

I believe that when DR-CAFTA finally takes effect, it will impact our country in ways we haven't even imagined... And all for the better.
I believe these companies, SEARS, etc., with their work ethic and innovative merchandising, will eventually win over a greater percentage of the population and will set a trend that the other, former cut-throat DR enterprises, will be force to emulate or die trying.
I believe that the more "encroaching" by US, Canadian, European and international marketing enterprises, the more prices will come down, the more commerce generated, the more national and foreign capital invested. Which will force the government to abandon the metro money pit and divert the funds for the construction of two 800 megawatt mothers which will more than suffice the consumption of residential and industrial demand thereby expanding our industrial output, thereby employing more Dominicans which will have many more pesos to spend at all these aforementioned stores.

I believe there's huge growth ahead. and we can all thank the radical capitalists worldwide.