In this chapter we will give a brief overview of the history of retailing in Latin America, describing the transition from monumental city-center department stores to the expansion of supermarkets throughout the urban space. The origins of retailing in Latin America can be traced to colonial times from the sixteenth to the eighteentih centuries. However, the development of modern retailing is a phenomenon that emerged during the late nineteenth century as part of the first globalisation, but the system was not consolidated until the middle of the last century. Moreover, it was not until the second half of the 1990s that the sector underwent explosive growth. In this chapter we analyse: (1) how the tensions between local traditions and global strategies shaped the strategies of retailing in the region; and (2) how these strategies seek to address specific problems such as market size, or competition with multinational companies using local resources.