Billionaire Retailer Says ‘Nice Try’ as Best Buy Exits Mexico

Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas wished Best Buy Co. “a good return home” and pledged to take care of its shoppers after the U.S. big-box retailer announced its departure from the country.

Mexico’s third richest person posted a Tweet from his retail, banking and TV conglomerate Grupo Salinas that said: “Thanks for trying, Best Buy.”

Salinas Pliego has become increasingly vocal on Twitter since the pandemic has hit retailers across Mexico. He has bashed health officials, saying they’ve wrecked the economy with lockdowns, insisted everyone will get the virus after he did recently, and even raffled off money online to attract customers.

“I want to wish you a good return home,” the billionaire wrote in a re-tweet of his company’s post. “Freedom and competition are a fundamental part of a healthy economy.” At Elektra, “we compete and do not give up, we stay to keep jobs and services, we are with you Mexicans,” Salinas said.

Best Buy said on Tuesday that the departure from Mexico lowered its international gross profit rate due to inventory markdowns.

Grupo Elektra SAB, which is majority owned by Salinas, was chastised by the government after the stores, which sell appliances and offer banking services, remained open this year through shutdowns. Grupo Salinas insisted the stores’ services were essential businesses.

Salinas, who also controls the country’s No. 2 broadcaster TV Azteca, as well as energy and security companies, said this month he has 10% of his liquid portfolio invested in bitcoins.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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