Spain’s Grupo DIA plans to invest over €25 million in Portugal this year, with the renovation of around 100 stores planned, as well as opening new outlets.
Speaking at a conference in Madrid, DIA's chief corporate officer, Amando Sánchez Falcón said that the retailer plans to invest more in Portugal this year compared to 2017, reports Dinheiro Vivo.
DIA is looking to expand its convenience store presence in Portugal, having already opened a pilot Minipreço Express store in Lisbon, which will be followed by several more openings under this format in Lisbon and Cascais over the coming days.
Although Sánchez Falcón did not reveal how many Minipreço Express stores DIA plans to open throughout Portugal, he said that the group's intention is to expand the banner "in Greater Lisbon and Porto as well as in rural areas”.
He also did not rule out the introduction of the Go banner, which operates convenience stores in petrol stations, to Portugal. In Spain, DIA operates Go stores in partnership with Cepsa and Repsol. Sánchez Falcón said that a similar arrangement might also be possible for Portugal; however he did not provide details about a possible partner.
If DIA chooses to embrace the forecourt market, it will face competition from Portuguese retail group Jerónimo Martins, which has had an ongoing partnership with BP Portugal since 2015.
Four 'Pingo Doce & Go' convenience stores have been opened at BP petrol stations; three in Lisbon and one in Corroios.
Also potentially on the agenda for Portugal is the introduction of an online sales channel, similar to that the group operates in Spain, where it currently holds 10% share of the online grocery channel.
Sánchez Falcón did not indicate a potential start date for this service, however he noted that a good operational base for the business would be the Mercado dos Santos, in Lisbon, where the group operates a Minipreço Family and Clarel store, "with good home delivery capacity".
Commenting on Spanish rival Mercadona's plans to launch operations in Portugal next year, Sánchez Falcón said that DIA's focus on convenience stores makes it better prepared to face the competition of this new operator.
The convenience, or proximity concept, has proven successful in Portugal, with major retailers giving priority to investments in smaller stores at the expense of larger outlets.
DIA closed 2017 with revenues of €853 million in Portugal, an increase of 0.6% over the previous year.
According to data sent to the Spanish market regulator (CNMV), the retailer ended the year with 630 Minipreço supermarkets in Portugal, of which 333 are directly owned and 297 owned by franchisees (compared to 367 and 256, respectively in 2016).
© 2018 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