GPA 2019 results, five things we learned

Date : 24 January 2020

Oliver Butterworth

Retail Analyst

GPA has reported gross revenue of BRL59.1bn (US$14.2bn) for 2019, representing solid growth of 10.3%. In this article we explore five key themes underpinning its performance.

1. Atacarejo continues to drive solid growth

GPA’s atacarejo (cash and carry) banner Assaí continues to be the business’s highest performing subsidiary. Assaí’s gross revenue reached BRL30.4bn (US$7.3bn) in 2019, representing 21.9% growth. It also reported strong same-store-sales (SSS) growth of 6.3%, indicating a growing number of customers are steadily migrating to the banner.

Gross revenue in Q4 reached BRL8.7bn (US$2.1bn), representing sales growth of 19.7%. SSS were up 4.3%, despite a tough year-on-year comparison (9.9% in Q4 2018).

2. Assaí’s store expansion surpassed expectations

In its 2018 annual report, GPA said it would open between 15 and 20 Assaí stores annually over the next three years. In 2019 it exceeded these expectations, opening 22 stores. This represents a massive 20% growth in total sales area for the banner. 13 stores opened in Q4, which became its largest number of openings in a single quarter.

Of the 22 stores opened in 2019, 21 were organic new stores. This is almost double the number of new stores it was opening three years ago and 31% higher than the number opened in 2018.

 

Assaí Openings

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Annual Openings

11

13

20

18

22

    New stores

11

11

5

16

21

    From conversion

0

2

15

2

1

 

 

Source: GPA annual reports, IGD Research

Assaí stores continue to reach new customers and the retailer has said its strong performance was supported by a substantial growth in customer traffic. Its 2019 openings were geographically spread across 11 of Brazil’s states and this includes entry into three states where Assaí previously had no presence. GPA is showing no signs of slowing the expansion of its Assaí banner and we anticipate it opening a minimum of 20 new stores in 2020.

3. Store transformation project is delivering significant sales growth

The business has been optimising its portfolio to better meet changing consumer demand. This transformation project continues to present consistent and significant improvements in performance.

The retailer’s Extra Super banner stores are being remodelled under two new supermarket banners, which GPA launched in 2018. 100 have been converted to Mercado Extra (77 converted in 2019) and 28 to Compre Bem (15 in 2019). Mercado Extra stores are seeing sales growth of around 5% and Compre Bem is seeing roughly 15%. Over 70% of Extra Super stores have now been converted to Mercado Extra and Compre Bem and it aims to convert the remaining stores in 2020.

The business is also renovating its Pão de Açúcar stores to its innovative and fresh-focussed G6 and G7 design. 20 stores were remodelled in 2019 (18 in Q4), taking its total stores in the latest designs to 46. GPA has 185 Pão de Açúcar stores and said it will remodel a further 15 to 20 in 2020, as well as opening between five and 10 new stores. The remodelled stores are delivering strong performance of above 700 bps compared to non-refurbished stores.

We recently wrote an article exploring why GPA is evolving its supermarket proposition in greater depth. For more insight, this can be found here.

4. GPA further strengthens its position as the food ecommerce market leader

GPA maintained its position as Brazil’s market leader in food ecommerce. According to Nielsen, it has a market share of more than 70%. Ecommerce saw annual growth above 40%, predominantly driven by the continued expansion of its Express and Click & Collect delivery initiatives (now available in 125 stores).

The business is successfully growing its James Delivery last mile proposition. The service is now available in 18 cities and it says the number of orders has increased 15-fold since the start of 2019.

5. Penetration of loyalty programmes is growing

Over 11m customers downloaded one of GPA’s apps in 2019, up 48% from 2018. The business is successful leveraging its Cliente Mais and Clube Extra loyalty programmes, which 20m customers are signed up to (14% more than in 2018). GPA said loyalty initiatives are being used in around 70% of transactions in physical stores.

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