20 February 2015 – Deia
The supermarket chain will invest €400 million over 4 years.
The retail distribution group Eroski (….) is planning to open one hundred new supermarkets per year – primarily in the north of the Iberian Peninsular – over the next four years. During this period, the Basque group, chaired by Agustín Markaide, expects to invest around €400 million, according to the strategic plan presented by the cooperative group to its shareholders yesterday in an extraordinary shareholders meeting held at the BEC in Barakaldo.
The Chairman of Eroski presented the proposed updates to the Strategic Plan 2013-2016 to the 500 shareholders present, once the definitive agreement for the refinancing of its bank debt has been agreed and stated that “it is time to look to the future, to progress more quickly with the expansion of our new ‘Contigo’ or ‘With you’ campaign and to recover investments to strengthen our most strategic businesses to create a new, more profitable Eroski”.
This more competitive Eroski has focused on its traditional markets in Euskadi, Galicia, Cataluña and the Balearic Islands, as well as in its respective hinterlands. It has also promoted the formula of franchised stores to recover market share lost as a result of the divestments that it has been forced to undertake in Spain to finance its debt payments.
One of Eroski’s key commitments in this new phase is that of extending its ‘Contigo’ commercial model to more than 200 stores under the second part of its Strategic Plan 2013-2016, by opening and refurbishing premises. According to Eroski executives, the reason for this approach is the success that has been obtained through the ‘Contigo’ campaign in all of the locations in which it has been implemented. It currently operates in 66 stores and its results show “a very positive response from consumers, with a 9% increase in sales in supermarkets and a 6% increase in the fully refurbished hypermarkets”. This improvement in sales has exceeded double digits in the case of fresh produce.
In terms of the (more than) one hundred stores per year that Eroski is planning to open over the next few years, a mix of owned stores and franchises is envisaged. The franchise formula will be used in the markets in Andalucía, Extremadura, Madrid and Levante, regions where the group, which has its headquarters in Elorrio, will open shops with a surface area of between 300 m2 and 500 m2.
Another one of its key commitment involves energy saving. The Basque group plans to open the first energetically self-sufficient supermarket in Europe, measuring 2,000 square metres in Gasteiz in 2016, which will be powered using renewable energy sources.
Original story: Deia (by Xabier Aja)
Translation: Carmel Drake
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