The franchising system is being used by retailers as a means to promote the expansion of their brands and open up new business opportunities. The groups Eroski and DIA are fully adopting this commercial formula. The former inaugurated on 15 October, an Eroski/city supermarket in Ponferrada, Leon, while the latter opened a new DIA Market in Alcaudete de la Jara, Toledo, just four days before that.
The new Eroski/city, with over 500 m2, has become the second store opened so far this year in Castilla y Leon. Eroski aims to grow in the region and has plans for three more outlets, which brings the total number of new stores in 2012 to six. More openings are not being ruled out and would provide a significant increase to the franchise network, which already has 11 stores.
Eroski has agreements with 312 providers from Castilla y Leon, who supply the shops with regional products. 1,700 workers are employed by the firm in 108 stores. A network totalling 94,179 m2 of commercial ground, distributed in 4 hypermarkets, 36 supermarkets, 3 service stations, 9 self-service stores, 3 family stores, 11 franchises, 12 travel agencies, 22 IF perfume stores, 7 Forum Sport stores and a store supply warehouse.
In 2011 Eroski launched 32 franchises, and this year 29 have been inaugurated so far. Plans are for 60 more to open before the end of the financial year, with an investment of 15 million Euro. The cooperative currently has over 500 franchised self-service stores scattered around the country and Andorra (one store).
Meanwhile, what DIA Market offers in Alcaudete de la Jara is a neighbourhood store, with 235 m2 for sales and a wide range of packed and perishable foods. With this opening, the firm establishes its presence in Toledo, where by the end of 2011 had 71 stores. The group's commercial network in Castilla-La Mancha amounts to a total of 160 stores.