SMART & FINAL OPENS FIRST MEXICO STORE

TIJUANA, Mexico -- Smart & Final has entered the Mexican market with the opening of its first store here.-venture partnership between Central Detallista, a regional grocery company in northern Mexico, and Smart & Final, Los Angeles.The store had its initial, non-promotional opening late last month. Roger M. Laverty, Smart & Final's president, said the expansion into Mexico marks a new era for the

TIJUANA, Mexico -- Smart & Final has entered the Mexican market with the opening of its first store here.

-venture partnership between Central Detallista, a regional grocery company in northern Mexico, and Smart & Final, Los Angeles.

The store had its initial, non-promotional opening late last month. Roger M. Laverty, Smart & Final's president, said the expansion into Mexico marks a new era for the company.

"We are excited to cross the Mexican border and launch our joint venture," he said.

Smart & Final plans to open three stores later this year on Mexico's Baja Peninsula and to expand more aggressively in Mexico during the next few years, Laverty said.

Central Detallista, the largest chain in northern Mexico, operates 33 Calimax supermarkets and nine Bodegon warehouse stores along the California and Arizona borders. Annual sales volume for the chain is approximately $300 million.

The first Smart & Final store here features 11,000 grocery items, a walk-in produce section and front-end scanning, plus a range of services that include menu planning, special orders and carryout service.

With the Mexican store unveiling, Smart & Final said it completed its development program for 1993 with 16 stores opened.