PriceSmart Inc., a company with headquarters in California that operates 37 membership warehouses in Latin America and the Caribbean, plans to add two new sites in Nicaragua and Colombia.
"We have bought in Colombia land for another warehouse, outside of Bogota. No opening date has yet been scheduled," the company's chief financial officer John Heffner said during a telephone interview from San Diego. "Another new location is planned in Managua, Nicaragua, for later this year."
PriceSmart has six locations in Colombia, six in Costa Rica, five in Panama, four in Trinidad and Tobago, three per country in Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic, two in El Salvador and one location per country in Aruba, Barbados, Jamaica, Nicaragua and the Virgin Islands.
“Our focus (now) is in Colombia,” Heffner said. Colombia was the last country the company entered in August 2011, he said, and the company had two more openings in October 2014 and November 2014.
Heffner said Chile and Peru are also of interest to the company, but there are not yet plans to start operations in those countries.
The company has an operation and distribution center in Miami. Goods bought in the U.S. are distributed to company warehouses.
“We charge $35 for memberships in our markets," Heffner said. "In the U.S., membership companies charge more. So our membership cost is a little lower and packages are a bit smaller."
In July, net warehouse sales increased 14.5 percent over July 2014 to $227.4 million.
“In July, we actually had 37 warehouse clubs compared to 33 in July of 2014,” he said. The four new stores contributed to the year-on-year growth, while comparable warehouse sales for the month of July rose 3.5 percent.
“We are seeing real strength in our markets in Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala," Heffner said. "Those are probably the strongest."