Spanish retailer Mercadona plans to accelerate the rollout of its network in Portugal by opening 20 stores per year.
The retailer's aim is to reach 150 stores in the country, and open its first store in Lisbon by 2022 or 2023, the company’s international director for external relations, Elena Aldana, told Jornal Económico.
She pointed out that opening in the Portuguese capital comes with challenges, as it would require a whole new infrastructure, including a new logistics platform and bigger offices.
The Spanish retailer has invested €220 million in Portugal over the past three years and is planning to invest around €140 million this year.
After the interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercadona has opened two supermarkets (in Aveiro and Santo Tirso) in Portugal this year, taking its store total to 12.
Both stores have a sales area of 1,900 square metres and are based on the 'Efficient Store' model that the company is implementing throughout its network.
After a positive experience in Portugal, Mercadona is already studying other markets. According to Aldana, “we have several ideas, but we're not yet revealing which markets we're studying".
Elsewhere, Mercadona is involved in several circular economy projects, with a focus on sustainable logistics; energy efficiency; waste management and plastic reduction.
Since arriving in Portugal in July 2019, it has implemented measures that led to annual savings of over 16 tonnes of virgin plastic. Last year, as part of its commitment to environmental protection, the company invested €44 million.
Mercadona has also joined the Smart Waste Portugal Association and the Portuguese Pact for Plastics, promoting the responsible, sustainable and circular use of resources, especially plastics.
© 2020 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