Despite being a highly concentrated market, in which the top four players account for 67.6% of the sales area and half of the stores, the market still offers growth opportunities, the study noted.
Market leader MC Sonae ended 2021 with a six points advantage over another local group, Jerónimo Martins, while both added over 20,000 square metres to their sales network.
Elsewhere, Aldi led store openings by floor area and climbed one position in the overall ranking to the seventh place.
The German discounter opened 22 supermarkets last year, accounting for one fifth of total stores opened in Portugal. Aldi plans to continue with its expansion strategy, targeting 200 stores by 2025.
Significantly, it also rolled out a new proximity format, with three stores operating under this model at the end of 2021.
For its part, Lidl opened eight stores and refurbished 19 others, in addition to opening its first store in a service area. It plans to expand to the autonomous region of Madeira from 2023.
Valencia-based chain Mercadona entered the top 10, after opening nine supermarkets, adding 17,100 square metres. The company is seeking to expand both in central and south Portugal, opening a co-innovation centre in Lisbon to boost growth.
Although Jerónimo Martins opened the most number of stores (95), in terms of area it lagged behind Aldi.
At the end of last year, the group started rolling out the Pingo Doce supermarket banner in the Azores, following the acquisition of the Sol*Mar stores from local group Finançor group.
The Aqui É Fresco chain added 37 supermarkets to its network, while Auchan opened five My Auchan proximity stores with a total surface area of 1,079 square metres.
Spain’s DIA Group continued to reorganise its activities in Portugal, by ceasing operations of the Clarel perfumery and drugstore banner and developing a new store model under the Minipreço banner, which already had 112 stores by the end of 2021.
Granada-based cooperative Covirán added 20 supermarkets, with more than 4,000 square metres, while Galician group Froiz opened a store in Oporto, with an area of 600 square metres.
In parallel to the expansion of their store networks, MC Sonae, Lidl, Aldi and Mercadona are all developing new logistics platforms in different parts of Portugal.