Mercadona, Spain’s largest supermarket chain, has opened an office in Europe to have a direct presence in one of the nerve centres of the distribution sector. The main aim of founder Juan Roig’s food distribution group is to be able to have direct contact with the European institutions that are mainly responsible for legislation and regulations throughout the European Union.
Besides being more visible, the company also wants to be able to explain its model to the European institutions. According to Mercadona, the Valencian company maintains smooth communication channels with the European authorities. It has been a member of EuroCommerce, the main European trade and retail organisation, for more than 15 years. Furthermore, Mercadona actively participates in this continental employers’ organisation and is even a member of its board of directors.
Mercadona in Europe
The food distribution group also registered over a decade ago as an interest group or lobby to gain access to European bodies. Mercadona wants to be consulted as a relevant player within the sector, in line with transparency rules. So much for the political and institutional part, which coincides exactly with the controversy sparked by Podemos’ partners in Pedro Sánchez’s government. The cause was the attacks on Juan Roig himself over the increase in the price of the shopping basket.
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International buying network
Mercadona also sees this new office as part of its strategy to expand the number of suppliers and improve its direct relationships with them. In doing so, it aims to secure international purchases on a global scale. The retailer now has 12 branches and representative offices in several countries outside Spain and Portugal. These should guarantee the supply of certain products with specific origins. Think of certain food products from Italy, pineapples from Costa Rica or items from South Africa and China.
Mercadona announced its results for 2022 a few days ago, with a net profit of €718 million and sales of €31,041 million. According to estimates in a study by the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (Ivie), the company had revenues of €27,246 million in Spain in 2022. That is 8.2% more than the previous year. According to the study, Mercadona’s operations in Spain generated a total of 684,211 full-time jobs in 2022. The chain currently has more than 1,670 supermarkets and 99,000 employees in Spain and Portugal.