DIA consolidated its position in these markets in 2015. Gross under-banner sales in this segment rose by 10.5% to €6.74 billion. The acquisition of 145 Eroski stores, which began to contribute to earnings in record time in the wake of their transformation, the integration of the El Árbol stores and the resilience of the DIA format fuelled topline growth and drove adjusted EBITDA to €501 million.
The addition to the store network of these new establishments boosted the group´s market share to 10.31%, according to Nielsen, thereby contributing to consolidation of the Spanish food retailing sector.
In addition to the transformation of the acquired stores, the integration gave rise to the creation of a new neighbourhood family supermarket format: La Plaza de DIA. This new model, with a unique look evocative of traditional food markets, is designed as the ideal format for everyday shops as it prioritises perishable products and personalised customer service. These stores also have differentiated sections devoted to household and personal care products.
In this same line of strategic specialisation in fresh products, DIA Maxi continued its renovation process, adding expertly-manned butcher, cold cuts and fish counters. This format also developed new bread and cosmetics counters, expanding the range of Bonté-branded and over-the-counter pharmacy products on sale.
Clarel, which pursued growth by tapping into the franchise formula, continued to win over new customers in Spain and Portugal and add range to its flagship personal care range, Bonté, with new sub-brands; this format also devoted more shelf space to OTC pharmacy products.
In parallel, the company extended its online transformation: while continuing to develop its e-commerce platform, it boosted the sale of non-food products on the new Clarel website, which went live in December, and on its flash sales platform, www.oportunidades.dia.es.
DIA Portugal, meanwhile, worked on differentiating its neighbourhood and suburban stores. In 2015, it focused its investment effort on remodelling the Minipreço Market format and testing the new Minipreço Family format. By year-end, it had transformed 160 Minipreço Market stores and inaugurated six new Family stores.
The development of Minipreço Market gave a boost to the private label by reinforcing perceived quality and expanding the assortment.
The company also worked on its price positioning, clawing back a substantial gap vis-a-vis its Portuguese competitors. This measure had the effect of eroding profit margins, albeit partially offset by the improvement in purchasing terms achieved by the rollout of CINDIA, the joint buying pool created with Intermarché.