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After 13 Years, Best Buy Exits Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Many businesses have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the electronics store chain Best Buy is not the exception. But the main hit will be felt not as much in the U.S. as at its branches south of the border. 

Best Buy announced its departure from Mexico, closing its 41 stores, starting Dec. 31.

Mexico was the smallest market for the company, where it has been doing business for 13 years. 

The company reported that store closings during the pandemic severely affected their gains, and they plan to improve its strategies. 

But some analysts consider that Best Buy had a hard time adapting to the Mexican market, where pricing is more competitive, competition is high and a strong branding is needed.

The announcement of the liquidation of its stores last Friday has already attracted hundreds of customers seeking big discounts. 

The chaos brought by the sales led health authorities to shut down some stores, as they became risky areas for the coronavirus to spread. 

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Rodrigo Cervantes is KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City, where he was born and raised. He has served as opinion writer, contributor and commentator for several media outlets and organizations in Mexico and the United States, including CNN, Georgia Public Broadcasting and Univisión. Cervantes previously worked as the business editor and editorial coordinator for El Norte, the leading newspaper in Monterrey and a publication of Grupo Reforma, Mexico’s premier news group. In Mexico City, Cervantes served in Reforma as a reporter, special correspondent, editor and special sections coordinator. Cervantes also held the editor position at MundoHispánico, a division of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia’s oldest and largest Latino newspaper. He also participated as one of the first members of the Diversity Advisory Group for Cox Media. In 2012, Cervantes was appointed as fellow for the Leadership Program of The New York Times/Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, as well as for the "Líderes Digitales" program from the International Center for Journalists. In 2010, he was awarded with the Poynter-McCormick Leadership Fellowship. Cervantes graduated with honors in communication sciences and journalism from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico City Campus. Later, he was granted the Fundación Carolina Scholarship from the Spanish government to obtain an MBA degree at San Pablo-CEU School of Business (Madrid). Other awards include: the Power 30 Under 30 Award for Professional and Community Excellence in Atlanta, the Outstanding Alumni Medal from ITESM, and several José Martí Awards for Journalism Excellence from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Cervantes enjoys music, books, travel, friendship, good mezcal and the occasional company of his guitar.