Amigo Supermarket (What Is It, Does Walmart Own It + More)

Amigo Supermarket is the leading private label grocery store in Puerto Rico. Still, despite its popularity, a lot of people don’t know a lot about Amigo Supermarkets.

If you’ve ever wondered about Amigo Supermarket, its relationship with Walmart, and more, you’re not alone! I’ve looked into the private label grocery store, and here’s everything I discovered!

Amigo Supermarket In 2022

Amigo Supermarket is a popular grocery chain in Puerto Rico as of 2022. After becoming a household name in the 1990s, financial issues and negative media coverage led to decreasing sales that nearly ruined the company. A controversial purchase by Walmart in 2002 saved the company from collapse and allowed it to rebound.

If you want to know more about the Amigo Supermarket, its Walmart connection, the services it provides, and more, keep reading!

What Is Amigo Supermarket?

Founded in 1920 as Supermercado Amigo, modern day Amigo Supermarket began in 1966 in Puerto Rico.

After its start, Amigo Supermarket grew from a single store to several location chains found mainly in strip-mall settings across the island.

Before the 1990s, two stores, Grand Union and Coop Supermarkets dominated the supermarket industry in Puerto Rico.

However, both companies withdrew from the region in 1989, and Amigo Supermarket established itself as the leader in the industry.

As a result, the first Supermercado Amigo location was opened in Plaza del Carmen Mall, in Caguas, with many more sites to follow in years to come!

At this chain, the company established the marketing slogan based on its name Amigo, lo Mejor al Mejor Precio.

That said, this iconic slogan was memorable and launched the company’s place in Puerto Rican popular culture during the 1990s.

However, financial issues related to employee pay, strikes, and negative media portrayal would strain the company, enabling Walmart to purchase it in the early 2000s.

As Walmart looked to expand internationally, Supermercado Amigo was a chance to reach the Latin American market. 

Who Founded The Amigo Supermarket In Puerto Rico?

Regarding Amigo Supermarket’s roots, Jose Marti Fuentes founded the first store in Puerto Rico.

When Did Walmart Buy Amigo Supermarket?

In 1990, the Amigo Supermarket chain began having some money and image problems that threatened the company’s future.

With that, as the company and employees had wage disputes, strikes began, and the media started covering a situation that looked bad for the company.

Naturally, sales suffered during this time, so the company was on the brink of collapse.

Further, some say that Walmart unfairly took advantage of the situation when purchasing Amigo Supermarket in July 2002.

Why Do Some Feel The Walmart Purchase Of Amigo Supermarket Was Unfair?

Why Do Some Feel The Walmart Purchase Of Amigo Supermarket Was Unfair?

When Walmart purchased Amigo, some felt that it created unfair competition among smaller grocery stores, and Walmart is familiar with accusations of monopolistic practices.

When Walmart made this purchase, it was no different!

If Amigo had access to Walmart’s resources, smaller local grocery retailers felt that they would no longer compete if other Walmart locations were nearby.

So, since Walmart has so many resources available, a condition of the buyer’s agreement was that any Amigo locations had to be closed if there was a nearby Sam’s or Walmart location.

Still, any Amigo locations closed because of these conditions were then rebranded as a company known as SuperMax or Pitusa Markets.

How Many Amigo Supermarket Locations Does Walmart Own?

As the number one grocery retail location in Puerto Rico, you can expect a lot of sites! That said, it shouldn’t surprise you to find 12 Amigo locations across Puerto Rico.

How Much Did Walmart Invest In The Acquisition Of Amigo Supermarket?

With the acquisition, Walmart intended to invest $400 million into growth in Puerto Rico over five years.

Further, company representatives wanted to work with local suppliers, create more jobs for native workers, and expand to reach more customers. 

How Much Money Is Walmart Investing In Remodeling Amigo Supermarkets?

In 2019, Walmart began remodeling Amigo locations and was spending $8 million on the project.

That said, this investment in remodeling shows Walmart’s continued interest in growing in the Latin American market with the Amigo Supermarket brand.

Does Walmart Have Other Stores In Puerto Rico?

When Walmart purchased Amigo, there was controversy because Walmart already had other store locations on the island.

With that, many feared it would make the company too strong in the area by owning Amigo. For example, Walmart also has the following locations in Puerto Rico:

  • Traditional Walmart: Five stores
  • Walmart Supercenters: 13 stores
  • Sam’s Clubs: seven Stores

So, this makes 37 total Walmart retail locations across Puerto Rico when you include Amigo Supermarkets.

Who Is The Manager And President Of Amigo Supermarket?

As he is familiar with the brand, Jose Revuelta will stay with the company during the transition period.

Further, he will become Walmart’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of the Food Division in Puerto Rico.

Also, Revuelta will continue in his leadership position at the Amigo Supermarket location.

Moreover, this continues with Walmart’s trend of gaining experienced eCommerce and international staff via acquisitions.

Can I Use My Walmart Or Sam’s Club Credit Card To Pay At Amigo Supermarkets?

If you have a Walmart or Sam’s Club credit card, you can use them to pay for purchases at Amigo Supermarkets. Also, you can pay via the Walmart app.

To make a payment with the Walmart app, simply scan the QR code after opening the app.

If you need help, you can find additional instructions for download on iPhone or Android by following this web page’s directions.

What Money Center Services Are Available At Amigo Supermarket Locations?

Much like you would find at a Walmart Money Center, at Amigo Supermarket locations, there are many financial services available for your convenience, including:

  • Check cashing
  • Gift Cards & Pre- Paid Debit Cards
  • Money Cards
  • Cashier’s Checks
  • Credit Cards
  • Money Transfers
  • Money Wire
  • Walmart to Walmart Transfer
  • Bill Payments

To know more about Walmart, you can also read our posts on whether or not Walmart owns Wayfair, if Walmart owns Tractor supply, and if Walmart owns Dollar Tree.

Conclusion

Although Walmart had a presence in Puerto Rico before purchasing Amigo Supermarket, it saw a valuable opportunity when the popular retailer was struggling.

When Walmart acquired the supermarket, it aligned itself with an already well-established brand in the area and got access to staff well-versed in doing business in Latin America.

Further, this transaction allowed Amigo Supermarket to benefit from Walmart’s trusted imaged and the resources to help turn around the company and regain footing in the industry.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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