GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- Mexican food retailers and suppliers should develop closer alliances now that this nation is taking a bigger role in the world economy, speakers at a retailer conference here said last week.
Jose A. Morera, chief executive officer of Organizacion Benavides, a retail chain in Monterrey, Mexico, said closer vendor-store relations will enable distribution costs to be lowered, which should reduce margins and lower prices for the consumer.
"We have to create an added-value distribution system, a system that a large chain-store company can count on," he said. "We need to build a category-management system between the supplier and the retailer. We need to create relationships that are win-win for both parties."
Morera, whose company operates a chain of pharmacies and convenience stores, spoke at the National Retailers Association of Mexico 1994 convention and trade
show here. The three-day event, sponsored by Mexico's Antad retailer association, ended March 1.
Julio A. Millan, an economist who spoke at a separate Antad workshop addressing the implications of the North American Free Trade Agreement, said the Nafta treaty will accelerate economic activity in Mexico and lead to a restructuring of the economy.
But to maintain their positions, Mexican retailers and suppliers need to have more trust in each other, he said. "We have to organize by sectors," he said. Retailers, for example, should use their influence with consumers to "orient them to products" that will not break the existing supply chain.