ATTENTION, SHOPPERS

ATTENTION, SHOPPERS

WAL-MART, the giant discount retailer, has its detractors among upscale Americans nostalgic for a vanishing, small-town way of life. But in developing countries, where such sentiments are a luxury at best, this American purveyor of low-priced merchandise gets a lot more respect.

In Argentina this week none other than the president of the republic, Carlos Saul Menem, turned out for the opening of a new Wal-Mart store on the industrial outskirts of Buenos Aires, welcoming it as an "investment to help us grow."Wal-Mart is equally high on Latin America. It plans to open another discount sales club and supermarket in Argentina next year, adding to its 23 stores in Mexico, two in Puerto Rico and one in Brazil.