Mercado Libre is preparing to plough more than US$3 billion into Brazilian operations, as the Argentinean e-commerce giant sees a rapid upsurge in online shoppers in Latin America’s biggest economy.
Brazil is the retailer’s primary market, accounting for around 54% of annual revenue. In 2019, Mercado Libre’s investment in Brazil was just US$300 million, 10% of what it is spending this year.
Over the past couple of years, Mercado Libre has raised its bets on Brazil in line with the demand for online shopping.
Its Brazilian operation grew 15% year-over-year in 2022, with the retailer managing to add more than 170,000 new sellers to its network of online shops. As its operations widened, so did the company’s workforce. Today, the online retailer employs almost 16,000 people in Brazil.
Much of the US$3 billion will be spent on cargo planes and on hundreds of new distribution centers.
The goal is to extend the e-commerce service throughout Brazil and deliver items the same day the order is placed, company officials stated.
Mercado Libre also announced a US$1.6 billion investment in Mexico, the retailer’s second-biggest market.