Jerónimo Arango (born 1925) is a Mexican businessman, co-founder of the Aurrerá chain of supermarkets along with his 2 younger brothers, Manuel and Placido, known for a long time as three of Mexico’s wealthiest men. His fortune was estimated at 4.6 billion United States dollars in 2006 by Forbes magazine. In the 2007 Billionaires issue Forbes new estimate is 4.3 Billion.
Arango founded his Aurrerá discount stores in 1958 after a trip to New York where he witnessed people standing in long lines to obtain discounts at stores; he decided to open one that sold at discount, emphasizing cost over other niceties. The stores flourished and eventually his family’s company, Grupo CIFRA, encompassed the largest supermarket chain in Mexico (including Aurrerá and Superama stores) as well as restaurants (VIPs and El Portón) and fashion stores (Suburbia).
By 1991 Arango partnered with Sam Walton’s Wal-Mart empire, a move which eventually brought the Wal-Mart retail stores to Mexico. The Mexican chain was later renamed Walmex and became the starting point for Wal-Mart’s expansion in Mexico. By 1997 the Arango family decided to sell majority shareholding of CIFRA to Wal-Mart in a transaction worth over $2 billion.
Manuel, Jerónimo’s brother is the president of the Mexican Center for Philanthropy as well for more than ten different non-profit organizations. He won two Academy Awards in the 1970s for the production of a well-known documentary about pre-Hispanic life.
His wife, Marie-Therese Arango, is the president of the Mexican Folk Art Museum.