Portuguese independent grocery network Aqui é Fresco reported €437 million in revenue in 2020, up 12% year-on-year.
Despite a positive performance from its stores and above-average turnover growth across its network, chief executive Carla Estevez admitted that 2020 "was a challenging year" due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
She pointed out that more than 60% of the group's members developed home delivery systems to cope with changing consumer demand, and are progressively creating websites and accepting orders online.
According to Estevez, the company will continue to invest in this digital transition throughout 2021, namely in the introduction of customer loyalty cards and online platforms.
With regard to further market growth, she pointed out that there is still a set "of questions about the depth of the effects of the pandemic in the evolution of purchasing power", as well as its effect on the economic situation in Portugal.
Following the opening of 22 new outlets in 2020, the group's plan for this year anticipates the opening of another 50 outlets across its network.
In January, the group announced plans to have approximately 780 stores in operation by the end of this year.
Aqui é Fresco Network
The Aqui é Fresco network comprises of 727 independent proximity retail stores, supermarkets, and mini-markets, spread across Portugal.
It is the largest independent retail network in Portugal, and is supported by Unimark, an association of wholesalers of FMCG products.
The group marks its tenth anniversary this year.