Shares in Walmart, the American retailing behemoth, have dropped by a third so far this year. But those of Walmex, its separately listed Mexican arm, are up 30 percent. This shaft of sunlight is surprising, for the mood south of the border has generally been glum.
In almost every town in Mexico, you will find at least one garish La Michoacana ice-cream parlour, a Mexican business success story, possibly as well known as Dunkin' Donuts is in the United States. But it is not a corporation, nor a brand, nor a franchise. It is a confetti of independent, family-owned ice-cream parlours.