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Is This The New ‘Amazon’ For Mexicans In The U.S.?

Juan Carlos García
Rodrigo Cervantes/KJZZ
Juan Carlos García, former director of global commerce for Elektra and ex CEO of Amazon Mexico.

Many retailers across the globe see in e-commerce a way to expand, even beyond borders. The Mexican-based company Elektra is one of them, and it wants to compete with giants such as Amazon with a new online store focused on immigrant consumers in the U.S.

Elektra is one of the biggest retailers in Mexico with presence in Latin America, and their incursion in the money transfer business made them the largest recipient of U.S. remittances.

“Right now, they send an average of $300-$350 per remittance, but they don’t have control on how their families spend the money,” said Juan Carlos García, director of global commerce for Elektra.

Elektra’s market studies indicate that the money sent is poorly spent. Around 12 million Mexicans are actively sending money to Mexico, according to García. And his company wants those expats sending cash to be able to send goods as well. And so, they created their new online store: Elektra USA.

“Elektra USA is a new service that we launch for our paisanos, Mexicans living in the United States, that care a lot about their families living in Mexico,” García said.

For García, their advantages against other online retailers are free shipping, thousands of stores used as pick-up points and a large catalog even with bulky products like refrigerators.

California, Texas and Illinois are the expected main markets in the US, while the main expected destinations are Mexican states like Guanajuato, Michoacán and Puebla.

García says many American brands will benefit by increasing sales and expanding to Mexico.

“American brands that probably don’t have a wide outreach in Mexico will have now a better access to the 120 million Mexicans living in Mexico,” García stated.

Rodrigo Cervantes was KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City from 2016 to 2021.