The supermarket chain will open its first store on July 2 in Vila Nova de Gaia, in the metropolitan area of Oporto. By the end of the year, there will be ten in this city, Braga and Aveiro.
Since 2018, Mercadona has already invested 60 million euros not only to build the stores but also a logistics block of 50,000 square meters in Póvoa de Varzim with which to supply its supermarkets in the north of the country. To start its operations, it already has a staff of 300 employees.
Mercadona had been working on its international expansion for many years. their first choice was Italy, but the crisis left their plans and, once they resumed them, they chose Portugal as a destination to take a step that in the sector they consider logical. «Mercadona needs territory to keep growing», explains Florencio García, Retail Director of Kantar for Spain and Portugal. “Its market share in Spain is 30% and, except in some territory such as the Basque Country, Asturias or Galicia, its possibility of growth is already very limited,” he adds
Despite the territorial proximity, the Portuguese market is not an extension of Spanish, which will force Mercadona to make some adjustments in its model. From the outset, they will bet on their policy of “always low prices”, which implies that they will not enter the game of promotions so to the liking of the Portuguese. The philosophy of the company that Juan Roig presides over is that he always offers the best products at the best possible price and, therefore, does not need offers. This circumstance will force them, they believe, to produce a high percentage of the references sold in Portugal in the Portuguese country. García considers that he must also make concessions, such as opening on Sundays.