After a long period of speculation and discussion around Mercadona’s potential expansion outside of Spain, the retailer has confirmed that it is aiming to open four stores in Portugal in 2019.
Timetable to enable Mercadona to prepare
Discussing the timetable, Mercadona’s president, Juan Roig, said that the period until 2019 would enable the retailer to identify the right locations for its stores, build relationships with suppliers and work out how to extend its supply chain in the country. Roig said that the choice of Portugal was determined by the proximity of the country and its ability to extend its existing logistics into the country.
Initial investment set to be limited
Mercadona has stated that it will invest €25m in the opening of the four stores, which it has said will create 200 jobs. The limited initial investment from Mercadona makes sense given the very competitive nature of the Portuguese market in recent years and comes at a time when existing operators like Jeronimo Martins and Intermarché are also looking to expand. Differentiating will be key for Mercadona, but standing out given the low prices on offer at Continente, in which the retailer has said it will invest further in the short term, and the fast paced growth from Lidl, will make this harder.