Puerto Rico is the U.S. and world leader in terms of number of Walgreens and Walmart establishments per square mile, according to a study by the island’s Center for Investigative Journalism, or CPI.
The study is based on the retail chains’ own figures although the organization said it found the number of stores is higher than what those companies report.
The U.S. commonwealth has 118 Walgreens stores and 56 Walmart establishments, including Sam’s Club warehouses and the Amigo supermarket chain, which the Bentonville, Arkansas-based multinational acquired a decade ago.
“Even accepting as fact the data provided by the companies, Puerto Rico is currently the U.S. jurisdiction with the highest concentration of Walgreens and Walmart (stores) per square mile,” the CPI said in the study, which was published Thursday.
That non-profit entity noted, for example, that Puerto Rico has 45 more Walgreens than Oregon even though that state is nearly 28 times bigger in area and both have similar populations.
Massachusetts, which is nearly three times as large as the island and has a population of more than 6 million (compared to Puerto Rico’s 3.7 million), has 50 Walmart stores, six fewer than the U.S. commonwealth, the CPI said.
Puerto Rico also has more Walmart stores per square mile than any foreign country, the center said, referring to Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, India, Japan, China and Britain.
It added that the Puerto Rican Department of Justice’s Office of Monopolistic Affairs, or OAM, has failed to check the expansion of Walgreens since it first set up business on the island in 1962.
Likewise, the OAM has not halted the growth of Walmart, which entered the local market in 1992 and expanded further with the acquisition of Supermercados Amigo in 2004, the CPI said.