Easing Inflation and Interest Rates Expected to Benefit Latin American Retailers

Easing Inflation and Interest Rates Expected to Benefit Latin American Retailers

Latin American retailers stand to benefit from easing macroeconomic conditions across the region as inflation stabilizes and interest rates come down, according to a recent report from Fitch Ratings.

“Retailers are demonstrating increased prudence with their capex, directing their investments toward optimizing logistics and bolstering the long-term value of customer relationships,” noted Fitch Ratings in a statement accompanying its report.

“In response to these market dynamics, companies are striving for a more balanced strategy between growth and profitability when executing digital strategies.”

Along with the macro cycle transition and relevant market dynamics, the New York-based ratings agency also notes other factors influencing competitiveness for the sector in Latin America.

“Increased competition from pure online retailers has led traditional retailers to defend market share by focusing on enhancing their product offerings, elevating service levels and improving the overall shopping experience,” stated Fitch Ratings.

Inventory management has also been helping to improve expectations for some retailers.

“Retailers started 2024 with better inventory levels after paring back their purchases during 2023,” stated the big three rating agency. “Fitch believes inventory management continues to be key to preserve profitability despite these more efficient inventory levels.”

Finally, it notes that refinancing risks remain “manageable” and local debt markets “have been supportive for refinancing.” On the other hand, Fitch concludes that “international debt markets remain volatile as global macroeconomic environment and geopolitical risks disrupt stability.”

Photo: Havaianas store in Bogotá’s Andino mall. (Credit: Jared Wade)

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