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Stores for all purchasing needs

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The expansion of DIA’s store network is part of the company’s objective to be increasingly closer to customers, making it possible to adapt its commercial offer to their needs and preferences. Based on a multi-format, multi-brand model, each year the DIA Group increases its number of stores exponentially in all the countries in which it operates, with an offer of closeness and proximity shopping adapted to all profiles.

At the close of 2016, the group had 7,799 establishments worldwide (81 more stores than in the previous financial year), of which 7,000 were proximity supermarkets focusing mainly on food, pharmacy and perfumery (DIA Market, La Plaza de DIA, Clarel, Minipreço Market and El Árbol, CadaDIA, Mais Perto).

The attraction stores, DIA Maxi and Minipreço Family, amounted to 777 establishments, while the Clarel format, specializing in personal care, beauty and household products, with a presence in the Spanish and Portuguese markets, contributed 1,233 stores to the Group.

As a result of the constant search for adaptation and listening to customers, during 2016 several projects were undertaken, focusing on consolidating the group’s most innovative formats, such as La Plaza de DIA, Clarel, and Max Descuento, as well as the implementation of new solutions in the group’s most traditional formats, thanks to the synergies obtained between models.

The company invested a total of EUR345.4m in 2016, both in refurbishments and in new openings, 5.7% less than in the previous year, after excluding the investments associated with the purchase of Eroski assets.

In the Iberia segment, progress was made on the refurbishment of the Maxi formats and the transformations of La Plaza de DIA during 2016, with new openings representing 25% of the total EUR225.8m invested. Likewise, in 2016, the company capitalized a total of EUR25m in Iberia in stores and logistics equipment that was previously operated under operating lease contracts.

The investment in emerging markets amounted to EUR119.6m, implying a 34% reduction at constant currency mainly due to the demanding comparative bases in Argentina during the past year, where the company has carried out a substantial investment effort.

New openings in emerging countries represented half of the investments made in Brazil and Argentina. In the last three years, the DIA Group has invested a total of EUR445m in these countries.

Capital Expenditure in 2016
(€m) 2016 % Change Change (ex-FX)
Iberia 225.8 65.4% 22.0% 22.0%
Emerging countries 119.6 34.6% -34.0% -15.8%
Total Capex 345.4 100.0% -5.7% 3.3%

Consolidation of La Plaza de DIA, the Group’s supermarket

2016 saw the consolidation of the La Plaza de DIA format in Spain, after its launch in April 2015. This banner stands out due to its special focus on fresh products, and is managed by personnel qualified to sell fish, meat, and delicatessen products. In addition, its product range offers the widest choice in its packaged food offering, with national brands playing the leading role and an excellent representation of own-label products. Of the over 7,500 SKUs that can be found in the stores, 1,500 are fresh produce and there are more than 6,000 mass consumption products (4,000 national brands and 2,000 own-label products).

The DIA Group has focused its efforts on transforming most of the establishments acquired in 2015 from El Árbol to this new format. In 2016, 143 El Árbol stores were transformed into La Plaza de DIA, a figure higher than the 95 initially foreseen for the year.

Following this transformation and restructuring process, the DIA Group had 251 establishments at the close of 2016. There are still 68 stores pending transformation, which, at the close of the financial year, continued to operate under the El Árbol banner.

The transformation and restructuring process of the La Plaza stores has been accompanied by a new project focusing on improvements in the product range, image, and different categories of families for the La Plaza de DIA stores, which are noteworthy for their excellent locations.

In 2016, work began on reviewing some stores, placing special emphasis on adjustments to rates, updating signs, and installing more welcoming illumination, as well as exclusive new spaces for the company’s highest added value own label, Delicious. The company plans to make more progress in this area over the coming year.

Review and updating of Max Descuento

In 2016, the DIA Group undertook a renewal process of Max Descuento, the cash & carry business line in Spain, with the aim of offering a much broader product range, adapted to the needs of its customers and more specialized in the hotel and restaurant sectors.

The renewed Max Descuento banner stands out for being a more modern, luminous and accessible store format, with a wide product range adapted to customer needs. It offers 1,000 additional SKUs, up to a total of 3,800, particularly focused on the hospitality sector, although it also includes products for small grocery shops, collectives, and other types of small business.

It also includes a new section of snacks and candy, and the strengthening of a professional delicatessen. Among the main new features, we highlight the development of an extensive professional bazaar.

The incorporation of these improvements led to a 6% increase in sales in this format during 2016.

Max Descuento closed 2016 with 36 establishments in six Spanish Autonomous Communities (Andalucía, Aragón, Asturias, Castile and León, Extremadura and Murcia), with a total sales area of more than 34,000 square metres.

During this year, three new Max Descuento stores were opened in Seville, Granada and Cáceres, adding 2,600 square metres to the Cash & Carry business.

Commitment to fresh in the historical DIA formats and Minipreço in Iberia

The synergies obtained from the various group formats have also fostered the incorporation of new features in the group’s most traditional formats. A case in point is DIA Market, the proximity format and DIA Maxi, the group’s attraction format, designed for larger and less frequent shopping.

During 2016, DIA continued to improve its commercial network with the refurbishment of 307 stores in the Iberian segment. This plan, in addition to improving customer experience in stores, strengthened the product offer with the inclusion of new categories in the product range. These new proposals are mainly focused on a firm commitment to fresh and more specialized services at the meat and fish counters, achieving a 15% increase in comparable-space sales in these establishments.

The commitment to fresh products and personalized service is also accompanied by the development of over-the-counter sales. Thus, a total of 653 group stores in Spain already had counters with personalized services in meat, fish and delicatessen at the end of 2016, while there were 274 stores in Portugal. In total, both countries have more than 2,000 counters.

Portugal continues to work on the implementation of new in-store developments aimed at enhancing the customer shopping experience. At the end of the previous year, testing began on a new model of attraction store, Minipreço Family, which had commenced its development and consolidation throughout the country in 2016. At the close of the year, Portugal had 50 Minipreço Family stores.

These establishments have their own parking lots, commercial space exceeding 800 square meters, and are located on the outskirts of the main cities. With over 4,000 SKUs, consumers have the option to do more extensive shopping, and family savings formats are predominant.

Like the new DIA Maxi formats in Spain, Minipreço Family stores offer over-the-counter services in fish, delicatessen, and meat, and also have an indoor cafeteria. The fruit and bakery sections have also been renewed, as have product displays, with the aim of making the shopping experience more pleasant. The perfumery section has a broad range of beauty, personal care, and hygiene products, with a significant presence of Bonté brand products.

In turn, the Minipreço Market stores have also been incorporating new services, aimed at improving the shopping experience, focusing on giving further attention to fresh products, and increasing the range. At the end of 2016, there were 300 stores operating under this renewed format.

Development of fresh, proximity and own label in emerging markets

In 2016, Brazil and Argentina implemented ambitious discount and promotional programmes aimed at generating more store traffic, while working on the development of the fresh offer, the main asset of proximity shopping.

In Argentina, progress was made in giving the product range a more urban format. In 2016, all of the own stores and 77% of the franchises already had a complete line of perishables. In spite of the tough economic situation in Argentina, this DIA segment managed to increase its market share in every month of the financial year, with the share of fresh produce sales rising from 7.20% in 2015 to 7.40% at the end of 2016.

The gradual implementation of these improvements has been accompanied in Argentina by an increase of four points in the weight of promotions over the last year.

In Brazil, progress has also been made in the commercial development of the Market and Maxi model. With over 1,200 SKUs in the product range, this year, own-label products are once again the most relevant item in terms of the differentiation of DIA’s commercial proposal in the country, with own-label products gaining share in terms of own-label sales in all the regions in which the company operates.

This store renewal, giving perishable products a greater presence to the DIA Market stores, with a broader offer at more competitive prices in DIA Maxi stores, has led the renewed stores to increase sales compared to those that have not been renewed by 8 and 7 points, respectively.

In China, with the aim of growing faster than the market, with comparable-space sales above the rate of inflation, the company has made a substantial promotional effort, with daily, weekly, and in-and-out promotions, with 15% of the range offering discounts, representing between 40 and 50% of sales.

Therefore, with more than 370 stores focusing on proximity, DIA is already the leading proximity network in Shanghai in terms of market share, sales per square metre, and efficiency.

In addition, store management has given greater prominence to the role of the Service Manager, which is midway between the concept of employee and franchisee, and entails more direct involvement in store management, as well as in Human Resources tasks and team management, among others. Currently, virtually all of the own stores already have this management model.

Clarel: More specialization and proximity

Clarel, the store format specializing in pharmacy, perfumery and personal hygiene, has made progress in terms of optimizing and improving its stores. The redesign process started the previous year, focusing on giving the stores a more modern and closer image, with a more extensive product range, as well as better visual communication, and this process continued during 2016, closing the financial year with the transformation of 500 Clarel establishments.

Gross sales under the Clarel banner reached EUR349m in 2016, up of 6.5% versus the previous year.

As a result of the improvements designed to align the group offer with customer needs, the company has managed to increase comparable-space sales by 5% in the stores that have already been reviewed.

The work done developing these new own-label SKUs is one of the main reasons for the improved sales, already representing 20% of the Clarel stores’ commercial offer, with over 1,200 products that give this DIA format a specialist and exclusive profile.

At the close of 2016, the DIA Group had 1,233 Clarel stores in Spain and Portugal, and they have also been used to generate synergies with the other company formats in the areas of cosmetics, perfumery and pharmacy.

The development of own-label products in the various categories has also led to the rapid penetration of these brands (Bonté, Baby and Junior Smile, Basic Cosmetics and AS) in stores in countries such as Argentina, Brazil and China, which do not currently have a Clarel format.

A logistics network focused on proximity and efficiency

The entire transformation process and the swift adaptation to customer needs would not be possible without a flexible, efficient and economical logistics network. DIA has 38 logistics platforms with a total of 764,526 square metres in the five countries in which it operates, which form part of an integrated system equipped with the latest technology.

In this system, each stage of the logistics process is considered in terms of the following link of the cycle, from the supplier to the store, with an optimum level of adaptation thanks to the in-house development carried out by the group. Accordingly, all of the IT systems and programmes used in its logistics network are designed and developed in-house, enabling a rapid response to the changing needs of its markets and designed to operate with maximum efficiency within the company’s proximity model.

To accompany the exponential growth of its business, the DIA Group opened two new logistics centres in 2016 in Spain and Brazil, adding more than 53,000 square metres to its current logistics network.

In October 2016, the company opened a new logistics platform in the town of Villanueva de Gállego, in Zaragoza. With over 30,000 square metres, 63 docks, and a storage capacity of over 14,000 pallets, this centre is currently the largest of the company’s 23 warehouses in Spain.

Able to manage more than 115,000 packages daily, it is the first warehouse of the company that includes all the perishable groups, indicating a clear commitment to the development of fresh produce. Furthermore, the idea behind the warehouse was to focus on logistics research and development, testing new projects that can then be applied to the rest of the company's network worldwide.

With an investment of EUR14.5m euros, this warehouse has already achieved a level of efficiency that is 15% higher than the average of the company’s warehouses.

In early 2017 in Argentina, the company expects to reach an agreement with a logistics operator to expand the logistics network in the town of Tortuguitas, in the province of Buenos Aires. This new centre of 17,400 square metres of positive cold chamber, fruit and vegetables will support the company’s commitment to perishable products and the planned expansion for future financial years.

In Brazil, a new logistics centre was also opened in the town of Mauá, in the state of Sao Paulo. With over 24,800 square metres, this warehouse is a response to the exponential growth posted in the country over the last few years, which has led the company to reach over 1,000 establishments.

In line with this drive for innovation and constant improvement in service, in 2016 the company began to test articulated vehicles just over 25 metres long, known as “Megatrucks”, which will allow up to 60 tonnes of freight to be transported in a single trip. For now, this project is in the testing stage at the Spanish warehouses of Azuqueca de Henares and Dos Hermanas, allowing logical efficiency in terms of transport and emissions.

Country Number of warehouses Surface area (m2)
Number of warehouses per country
Spain 23 440,070
Portugal 3 76,350
Argentina 5 97,844
Brazil 6 131,832
China 1 18,430
Total 38 764,526

Commercial surface by country at 31 December 2016

(Millions of square metres)

  2015 2016 Change
Spain 1.9399 1.8764 -3.3%
Portugal 0.2193 0.2204 0.5%
Iberia 2.1592 2.0968 -2.9%
   Día 1.5833 1.6199 2.3%
   Clarel 0.1928 0.1997 3.6%
   El Árbol / La Plaza 0.3831 0.2772 -27.6%
Argentina 0.2308 0.2387 3.4%
Brazil 0.4204 0.4808 14.4%
China 0.0788 0.0786 -0.3%
Emerging Countries 0.7300 0.7981 9.3%
Total DIA 2.8892 2.8948 0.2%

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