Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Something big is coming soon...

So reads the sign at Hiper Paiz the biggest Guatemalan chain that was bought by Walmart a bit over 5 years ago. What is coming? A big Walmart sign... Friday Hiper Paiz will officially become Walmart!

I remember my grandmother telling me how she recalled the first store of Mr. Carlos Paiz a store where he first started selling thread and ribbons and to then become a retail empire in Guatemala. His story was published in the book La historia de Carlos Paiz. Un hombre de Guatemala

 It is somewhat nostalgic to know such an iconic name will now remain for a few years in the memory of some generations, then as a story told by grandma, to then disappear. Wisely Walmart did the transitions patiently. No big announcements were made when it was purchased, about a year later the employees started wearing badges that said Walmart, they started the always low prices policy, they slowly changed the look and feel, new stores looked more like Walmart but they were still Paiz and now I shall update over the weekend this post with the Walmart sign.

We used to live in the Boulder, where Walmart is banned. I used to drive 40 minutes to go to a Walmart. When we lived in Kansas from Baldwin City to the closest super Walmart it was also about a 40 minute drive. People thought that was to much driving for a Walmart and I said "well when I lived in Guatemala I had to take a plane to go to Walmart". Going to Walmart was a highlight in any trip to the US. Now they are officially here in Guatemala close to home....

3 comments:

Bobbi said...

I hope that this is a good thing for the people and economy of Gutemala.

Amanda de Bernardino said...

I went to Walmart here (in guatemala) recently with high hopes of it being just like it is in the US. It was heartbreaking (haha) to see that it was still very much like Hiper Paiz. I hope to return again and it be more and more like my Walmart that I look forward to when I go to the US!

Guatemalan Genes said...

Was it before this post? Because if that is the case you will be surprised of how much it did change when they officially made the transition!!