Wal-Mart eyes $316 million in Brazil store reforms through 2019

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows a Wal-Mart store in Monterrey, Mexico, August 10, 2016. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMT.N plans to invest around 1 billion reais ($316 million) in Brazil through 2019 to refurbish about 120 stores, as larger rivals in Latin America's biggest economy invest heavily to retain cash-strapped customers.

“We’ve already done about 10 percent of it this year,” Flavio Cotini, Wal-Mart’s chief executive in Brazil, told reporters at the Latam Retail Show in Sao Paulo on Tuesday. Wal-Mart is Brazil’s third-largest diversified retailer.

Goldman Sachs Group analysts expect Grupo Carrefour Brasil SA CRFB3.SA, Brazil's largest food retailer, to almost double stores over the next three years, spending fresh capital it raised in a July stock listing.

Rival GPA SA PCAR4.SA is also undertaking an ambitious store renovation to prepare for recovering consumer demand after Brazil's worst recession on record.

Reporting by Aluisio Alves; Additional reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Richard Chang