[slideshow_deploy id=’1825′] With an estimated 2011 population of 8.2 million (INE) and per capita gross national income of $1,880 (World Bank), Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Nonetheless, the Honduran economy has diversified in recent decades and now has a strong export-processing (maquila) industry, although primarily focused on assembling textile and apparel goods for re-export to the United States. Honduras retail market is the smallest in Central America although iuite active an open to international competition.
Honduras retail sector is dominated by three supermarket chains: La Colonia (19 stores), PriceSmart, and Walmart’s various formats, which together accounted for 62 retail units as of October 31, 2011 ( Paíz 7, Walmart Supercenter 1, Despensa Familiar 48, and Maxi Bodega 6). Most of the supermarket stores are located in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. La Ceiba is one of the fastest growing coastal regions in Honduras and is attracting a significant number of commercial outlets and retail chains.
Corporación Lady Lee, who owns Lady Lee Department Stores, is the biggest shopping center operator in Honduras and is currently building City Mall, the largest shopping center in the country (1.3 million sf). Lady Lee shares the Honduras shopping center universe with Grupo Roble from El Salvador and Guatemala’s Spectrum. Honduras’ biggest Department store is Tiendas Carrion (30 stores), followed by Inversiones La Union, who operates Mendel’s (14), Aca Joe and Chester’s Chicken, and some small shopping centers.
Although political and economic conditions seem to have largely improved, insecurity has become a serious social problem and one that threatens the very stability of the small country. Honduras endures a chronic crime problem related to drug trafficking, gang activity, and weak law enforcement. The authorities have severe resource limitations issues with which to fight the endemic problem of organized crime, which places the country at the top of the world’s per-capita murder rates.
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