Metro Group Sees Growth Opportunities in Portugal
German retailer Metro Group will continue investing in Portugal, despite shedding 215 jobs in 2015 as part of a restructuring process.
In an interview for Diario Economico, the Chief Marketing Officer at Metro Cash & Carry International, Philippe Palazzi, said that Portugal "is a strategic market with great potential", adding that the company is focusing on growth in organic terms, but also looking at investment opportunities.
Palazzi, who is responsible for the Portuguese, French and Spanish markets, pointed out that, in strategic terms, there was a need to refocus the business on the HoReCa channel, as in the past, priority was given to small traders and businesses.
In this context, he highlighted the recent separation of management of the Portuguese and Spanish operations, aimed at providing better service to customers and concentrating more efforts on the local HoReCa channels.
Asked whether the retailer will maintain the existing ten stores, he replied that there is still room for growth in Portugal. However, he admitted that it is too early to say whether the existing format will be maintained.
Palazzi also said that Metro Group’s Real hypermarket format will not be deployed in Portugal, as the concept is very 'German' and there are no plans to replicate it globally.
For her part, general director of Makro Portugal, Tanya Knops, stated that €400.000 was invested recently in the remodelling of five stores (in Albufeira, Braga, Gaia, Matosinhos and Palmela), to fit the needs of the HoReCa segment.
According to Knops, currently 12 Portuguese companies supply products - mainly wine, fruits, vegetables and fish - to Metro’s international store network. She also stated that the group’s private label brands, Aro and Horeca Select, currently account for 22.3 per cent of total sales.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.