Spanish retail group DIA will close its Clarel personal and home care chain in Portugal to focus on food retail, according to a report in Dinheiro Vivo.
The move will see the closure of 41 of 71 Clarel shops in the areas of the country where the Minipreço supermarket chain already has a strong presence.
Twelve outlets will be transformed into new Minipreço supermarkets, boosting the group's capacity to respond to increasing consumer demand.
Food retailing is one of the few sectors to keep its doors open in Portugal, albeit with some limitations, during the new confinement imposed due to the pandemic.
Nine Clarel stores will continue to operate as 'dark stores' to support the expansion of Minipreço's online commerce operations, launched last summer and covering the Greater Lisbon and Greater Porto regions.
Another nine will stay open until stocks sell out and later convert to Minipreço supermarkets or 'dark stores'.
Clarel employees will be fully integrated into Minipreço, reinforcing the banner's online and offline response capacity.
The decision marks the end of the Clarel chain in Portugal, about seven years after entering the country, despite a positive performance.
DIA Portugal CEO, Miguel Guinea, told Dinheiro Vivo that the closure is in line with the decision to concentrate food distribution resources. In this area, the company is one of the market leaders.
He stressed that the group's priority is to expand the Minipreço banner in areas not covered yet, boost the online response capacity in areas where the chain is already present, and focus on future growth areas.
According to Guinea, the restructuring process will commence immediately, with 12 store conversions to Minipreço ready by the end of March.
The remaining conversions will be completed by the end of the first half of 2020.
DIA, which has 560 Minipreço stores in Portugal, will announce its 2020 results on 26 February.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.