Portuguese retail group Jerónimo Martins has opened its 1,000th Ara supermarket in Colombia.
Since arriving in Colombia in 2013, Jerónimo Martins has invested over €1 billion in the Ara network.
The company expects to close this year with between 230 and 250 additional stores added to its network.
Commenting, Pedro Leandro, Managing Director of Ara, said, “Each store opening for us is another step in our commitment to Colombian families – to become part of the neighbourhood and to be ever closer to people’s homes, bringing quality and variety to their everyday purchases, always at the lowest prices”.
'On The Right Track'
Speaking to Portuguese daily Expresso, the president of Jerónimo Martins, Pedro Soares dos Santos, said that the company is "on the right track" with its Ara rollout.
Instead of promotions, Ara has opted for what Soares dos Santos says is "a policy of constant affordable prices."
In Colombia, Jerónimo Martins works with 500 local suppliers, which provide 90% of supplies to the retailer.
Ara's typical food basket is dominated by rice, legumes, oil, sugar, wheat flour, and bread. Meat represents 20% of the average food basket, while fruit accounts for 30%.
At the end of 2021, Jerónimo Martins operated a total of 819 stores in Colombia, with 8,604 employees and sales of €1.1 billion.
Retail Tax In Portugal
Elsewhere, commenting on the new tax on extraordinary profits imposed on the grocery retail sector in Portugal, Soares dos Santos said that the government "is punishing well-managed companies."
He pointed out that Pingo Doce saw its turnover decline by 80% in the first year and half of the pandemic, with the retailer spending €60 million to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, adding that the margins of the companies in the sector are falling.
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest Retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.