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Offensive Against a Giant. Group Trying To Stop Walmart

In Costa Rica, a group of cooperatives, associations, and companies are evaluating presenting a purchase offer for the supermarket chain Gessa, in order to try to stop Walmart from making the acquisition.

At least 10 organizations are allied to make purchase offer to Gessa and thus stop the plans of Walmart

Elfinancierocr.com announced that a group, led by the Cámara Nacional de Economía Social Solidaria (Canaes) – National Chamber of Social Solidarity Economy –  is working on a proposal to present to the owners of Grupo Empresarial de Supermercados (Gessa).

At the end of last month, Walmart announced that it had filed with the Comisión para la Promoción de la Competencia (Coprocom) del Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio (MEIC) – Commission for the Promotion of Competition of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce –  a proposal to acquire the supermarket chains Perimercados, Súper Compro and the Saretto store, which currently belong to Gessa.

Monserrat Ruiz, executive director of Canaes, explained to Elfinancierocr.com that “… they hope to generate a dialogue table, in the next 15 days, with the stakeholders interested in investing and in that way be able to approach the owners of the formats Peri, Super Compro and Saretto. ‘We want to defend the market of organizations for solidarity social economy in retail matters and this includes being able to generate a strategy to talk to Gessa. The idea of participation is that it not be in the hands of large, transnational companies, which in the end would have 75% share of the pie, Ruiz said. The group is even open to any organization or company joining the offer they will put foward, added the representative.

“.. The representative said that the actors involved have the ‘muscle’ to be able to operate the Gessa establishments, but were emphatic that many of them could be contracted out or even disappear if the purchase is approved by Walmart.”

The Walmart purchase announced on July 19 is subject to the approvl. The EF says it tried to know the current status of this process, but it has to receive a response from authorities.

According to an investigation done by the EF, if the purchase is approved by the Coprocom, the geographical presence of Walmart would grow in at least 30 cantons across the country

The growth would be concentrated mostly in Guanacaste. For example, in Santa Cruz, Walmart would go from two to seven stores.

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