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Jerónimo Martins Group starts operations in Colombia

Corporate Information
The first “ara” stores open today

Lisbon, 13 March 2013 - The Jerónimo Martins Group's operations in Colombia start today, in the city of Pereira, with the opening of the first ara stores and the first Distribution Centre.

Pereira is the capital of the coffee-growing area known as the Eje Cafetero, a region chosen for the launch of operations due to its highly significant logistic advantages, given the nature of the business and the efficiency that the Group seeks in all its operations.

A total of five stores will be opened today and tomorrow. The ara stores are proximity food stores, with a strong presence in residential neighbourhoods. They combine a cheerful and colourful store environment with an architecture and product layout that offer a very pleasant shopping experience. The average sales area is between 300 and 600 m2 and each store has around 15 employees.

The store concept is derived from an in-depth analysis of the market and of the needs and tastes of the Colombian consumer, resulting in the definition and implementation of a business model that is unique in the country and totally focused on the consumer.

The ara pledge is to offer consumers quality products, including a range of Private Brand articles, at stable and highly competitive prices. As in all the geographic regions in which the Jerónimo Martins Group operates, most of the assortment and Private Brand products are produced locally.

The ara Brand was developed in collaboration with McCann Colombia and is inspired by the country's immensely rich biodiversity and particularly by the fact that Colombia is considered "a paradise of birds". Emotional and local dimensions were decisive in the choice of the Brand's symbolic territory.

The investment envisaged for 2013 is €100 million, with the aim of reaching around 40 ara stores by the end of the year. Besides the implementation of the expansion plan, the team will be focused on identifying opportunities for improvement in service and consumer choice as well as in the management of operating costs.

The opening of the first stores reaffirms the Jerónimo Martins Group's commitment to contributing to the country's development and progress, supporting local industry and respecting the culture and values of the surrounding communities.