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As part of its annual general meeting, Spain-based retailer alliance Grupo IFA has announced its turnover rose 4.6% in Spain in 2018, to €12.9bn. At a European level the addition of Italy-based Gruppo VéGé saw its turnover increase by 43.3%, to €24.4bn.

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As Spain-based Mercadona prepares to open its first store in Portugal, it is investing in its ecommerce operations to boost its delivery capacity and coverage.

Retailer expands online coverage for Barcelona

Mercadona has expended the coverage area for its ecommerce operations in Barcelona. The company has established a 10,500 sq. m warehouse in Zona Franca of Ciudad Condal to exclusively to fulfil its online orders for four post codes in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi and Les Corts districts of the city. The retailer said that over the coming weeks and months it will add new areas for the warehouse to cover. In the coming years, Mercadona said it would expand the area covered by the warehouse to include new municipalities.

For shoppers not covered by the new warehouse, Mercadona has said that they can still purchase through its existing operations. However, for those in the areas, it enables them to take advantage of a longer delivery window, between 07:00 and 22:00 from Monday to Saturday, and a range similar to that available in-store.

Partners with Bringg for online orders

Mercadona is set to collaborate with Bringg to help improve the efficiency of its online delivery. Using Bringg’s platform is aimed at helping Mercadona organise deliveries from its online-focused warehouses to shoppers more efficiently. Bringg’s software aims to help drivers make deliveries faster by optimising the routes they take and how orders’ loading and unloading can be optimised.

Discussing the implementation of the software, Mercadona’s online product manager, José Ramón Pérez, said: “We are producing results with both on-time delivery and greater efficiency in all of our operations. And all this will continue to improve as we continue to take advantage of our data.

First store in Portugal to open in July

Mercadona has said its first store in Portugal will open on 2 July in Vila Nova da Gaia. The store will be followed by further openings in Matosinhos, Maia, and Gondomar. By the end of 2019 Mercadona has said it is aiming to operate 10 stores in the country, with stores expected to be opened in Porto, Ovar, Braga, São João da Madeira, Barcelos and Vila Nova de Gaia.

Spain-based retailer alliance Euromadi has released 2018 results saying aggregate member sales rose 4.7% to €19.37bn. The alliance said the 2018 results proved the success of its strategy, with the pace of revenue growth rising during the year, following growth of 4.5% in 2017.

Continued expansion aiding growth…

Euromadi said at the end of 2018 its 133 associated companies, down from 137 at the end of 2017, operated 14,204 points of sale, a rise of about 500 on the previous year. 11,973 stores were in the grocery channel, 362 were cash & carries, and 1,869 were in the perfumery and modern drugstore channel.

…Supported by sustained innovation…

The group’s continued success, it believes, is underpinned by its Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2020. The plan has seen Euromadi focus on 18 large projects, which are aimed at improving the competitiveness of its members. A core element in the plan is deriving further value from members’ digital transformation and the management of data being generated by the retailers. As part of the results announcement, Euromadi’s chairman, Jaime Rodriguez said: “Digitisation will allow us to be more efficient and will be an essential way for us to connect with the interests of our shoppers.”.

…And growing strategic focus

Under the Strategic Plan, Euromadi said it was concentrating on four key pillars:

  • 1. Digitisation and use of Big Data: this is aimed at better understanding the shopper to allow its members to offer a more personalised shopping experience
  • 2. Continued internationalisation: as part of its membership of the global EMD organisation to benefit from synergies and international agreements with more than 45 suppliers
  • 3. Improvements of efficiency in margins and costs
  • 4. Support for legislative stability: to enable it and its members to plan

Euromadi said in the short term these initiatives will be boosted by it looking to progress the competitiveness of its members through further centralisation of buying of specific products, improve members’ fresh offer, health-focused ranges and their proximity formats as shoppers’ buying habits evolve.

As Mercadona announces its partnership with Bringg and Eroski and its cooperatives announce their full year results, we round up news from the country.

Mercadona to work with Bringg for online orders

Mercadona is set to collaborate with Bringg to help improve the efficiency of its online delivery. Using Bringg’s platform is aimed at helping Mercadona organise deliveries from its online-focused warehouses to shoppers more efficiently. Bringg’s software aims to help drivers make deliveries faster by optimising the routes they take and how orders’ loading and unloading can be optimised.

Discussing the implementation of the software, Mercadona’s online product manager, José Ramón Pérez, said: “We are producing results with both on-time delivery and greater efficiency in all of our operations. And all this will continue to improve as we continue to take advantage of our data.”

DIA to close 219 stores in June

According to reports in Europa Press, DIA is planning to close 219 stores in June. The closures following DIA not receiving any bids for them. 38 stores will be closed in Catalonia, 31 in the Valencian Community, 24 in Galicia, 22 in the province of Asturias, 21 in Castilla y León, 16 in Castilla-La Mancha and 15 in Andalucía, amongst others. The reports suggest that DIA was aiming to dispose of 297 stores in total, which implies that it has been able to sell some.

Eroski saw sales fall, but profits rise in 2018

Eroski said group sales in the year ending 31 January 2019 fell 2% to €5.4bn. The decrease in sales came despite the addition of 58 new stores, including 31 opened by franchisees. During the year Eroski invested €95m in the opening of new stores and the renovation of others. Where stores had been updated to the new Contigo format, sales rose by 1.3%. The new stores included the opening of five supermarkets, four petrol stations and a mix of other non-grocery-focused formats.

Although Eroski reported a fall in sales, it said its EBITDA and operating profits both rose, by 3.8% to €250.7m and by 19.1% to €163.6m respectively. The cooperative said the increase in profit was aided by improved efficiencies and its investment in its stores.

Caprabo saw sales fall by 8%

Meanwhile, Caprabo said its sales fell 8% in the same timeframe, to €912m. Caprabo said the fall in sales was due to the reorganisation of its store network and its ongoing store investment programme. During the year Caprabo opened 10 new stores, taking its network to 320. The cooperative also invested in improving its stores, with this aimed at driving in-store efficiencies and improving their competitiveness. Caprabo said it updated 20% of its network in 2018, taking the total share that have been improved to 40%.

The store investment programme has seen Caprabo upweight its fresh offer, raise the visibility of health products and expand its convenience-focused ranges. In 2019 Caprabo has said it will begin building its new logistics platform, which will become fully operational in 2020. The new distribution centre will support Caprabo’s investment in its fresh ranges, while also being set up to manage its online sales.

Vegalsa-Eroski sees sales rise 3% in 2018

Vegalsa-Eroski said its sales rose 3.01% to €1.1bn in 2018. Its ecommerce operations were a strong growth area, with sales rising more than 50%, supported by the addition of further collections points. At the end of 2018 Vegalsa-Eroski operated 18 online collection points, of which 14 were in Eroski Centres and four in its hypermarkets.

It said it ended the year with 263 stores, of which 61 are operated by franchisees, with a total sales area of 230,337 sq. m. At a banner level, the cooperative said it operated five hypermarkets, 96 Eroski Center, 4 Eroski Gas Stations, 78 Family Self Service, 19 Cash Record and an Economato. In 2018 Vegalsa-Eroski invested €18.2m on the updating of its stores.

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