Latin America-based online marketplace MercadoLibre is spending $100 million to open two distribution centers in Mexico, the company tells Internet Retailer.
The two centers will cover 1.4 million square feet and will create more than 3,000 new jobs in the country.
“The investment in Mexico is part of a comprehensive strategy that we started in 2016 that will allow us to reduce substantially the delivery times of our products,” says Ignacio Caride, general director for MercadoLibre Mexico.
E-commerce accounts for about 3% of total retail sales in Mexico, MercadoLibre says. That’s compared to 13% in the U.S., according to Internet Retailer estimates.
Currently, 80% of the items sold through MercadoLibre in Mexico use Mercado Envíos, the company’s shipping and logistics service, and more than 70% are delivered within 48 hours, the company says.
Amazon.com Inc. also is stepping up its investments in Mexico. Last year, after operating for about two years in the country, it launched its Prime two-day delivery service in Mexico for about $23 a year—far less than the U.S. fee of $99. Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, began selling physical goods in Mexico in 2015.
MercadoLibre Inc. operates in 19 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. MercadoLibre says it is the 7th most visited retail site in the world.
EBay.com Inc. had been the Buenos Aires-based company’s largest shareholder since 2001, but in 2016 announced it was selling most of its stake in the company.