Spain: promoting local, focusing on fresh

Date : 13 April 2015

As Covirán and Eroski spotlight locally sourced produce, DIA receives approval for its acquisition of Eroski stores and Mercadona integrates Apple Pay into its range of payment solutions, we round up the news from Spain.

DIA’s purchase of Eroski stores approved…

DIA has received approval from the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (CNMC) for its acquisition of about 160 Eroski stores, of which the majority of which are in the region of Madrid. DIA has said that it will sell three stores, two of which are owned by Eroski and one of which it owns itself. The acquisition of the Eroski stores is a key part of the retailer’s strategy to play a role in the consolidation of grocery retailing in Spain and will help it quickly upweight its understanding and skill in categories such as fish and meat, sales of which it under indexes with through its core brand.

…Advertises for staff with knowledge in perishables

Meanwhile, in a separate announcement, the retailer said that it is seeking to employ more than 500 new staff members who specialise in the management and handling of perishable products, skills that it needs as it evolves its offer, integrates El Arbol, adds the Eroski stores to its portfolio and renovates some of its stores. DIA is said to be focusing on employing people with knowledge of meat and fish, categories that will enable it to widen its offer and help it compete with brands with larger offers, such as Mercadona, which has been adding similar counters back into its stores over recent months. DIA will be hoping that in combination with existing strategy of providing great prices in stores close to shoppers, it will be able to benefit from the improving Spanish economy.

Eroski to promote sourcing of Galician products…

Co-operative retailer Eroski has announced that it is going to focus on promoting locally sourced produce at its more than 100 stores in Galicia. The retailer said that it purchases produce from more than 600 suppliers based in the region, which means that it invested €410 million in Galicia in 2014. Eroski said the promotion – which is being run to raise awareness and to spotlight the benefits of a selection of 85 local products – would run for two months and then will be repeated in August to coincide with summer.

…Covirán spotlights buying of products from three regions

Meanwhile, echoing Eroski’s strategy, Covirán has said that it will be strengthening the buying agreements it has with local producers in Catalonia, Galicia and Extremadura. The retailer said that it was reacting to the ‘needs of consumers in each area… [encouraging it to] strengthen its range of products with a selection of local products, to boost local businesses and contribute to the generation of wealth in the areas’. In Catalonia Covirán said that it works with 122 suppliers, in Galicia 70 and in Extremadura 11, which, when combined, had seen it spend more than €50 million with local suppliers.

Mercadona integrates Apple Pay into payment solutions

Following on from its upgrading of its payment solutions in 2014, Mercadona has said that its new terminals have been adapted to enable it to receive payments through Apple Pay. Although the contactless payment solution is not available in Spain as yet Mercadona said that its investment of €5 million in 2014 on its new payment terminals would enable it to turn on Apple Pay when the service becomes available.

El Corte Inglés undertakes sale and leaseback of stores

El Corte Inglés has announced that it is talking with IBA Capital which could lead it to sell and leaseback a number of its department stores, which would generate about €500 million for the retailer. The additional capital would provide El Corte Inglés with some breathing space and help it invest in its growing online operations, initiatives to drive footfall at its department stores and in prices as it looks to compete across its retail operations in the country.