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Colombia: Discounters D1 and Ara making their position stronger amid top 35 Colombian companies

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

The hard discount stores D1 and Ara are strongly positioned among the largest companies in Colombia – despite the decline of discounter Justo & Bueno that left the top 35.


Tiendas D1 (Koba Colombia), Santo domingo Group, is already the eighth largest company in the country in operating income with $ 9.95 billion in 2021, 35% more compared to the $ 7.37 billion achieved in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the report of the 1,000 largest companies in the country of the Superintendence of Companies.


This is done, according to its authors, with the individual and separate financial statements, focusing on operating income, which corresponds to the sum of income from ordinary activities, other income, as well as the participation in the profits of associated subsidiaries and joint ventures.


D1, the main hard discount chain in the country, ranked behind Nueva EPS, Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), Almacenes Éxito, Claro, the Cartagena Refinery, Terpel and Ecopetrol, which was the first.


Tiendas D1, founded in 2009 by Chilean Michel Olmi, already rubs shoulders with the giant Almacenes Éxito, which is the largest supermarket chain in the country with operating revenues of $13.03 billion, 6.80% more than in 2020.

After Almacenes Éxito and D1, the third largest company in the commerce sector is Alkosto (Colombiana de Comercio S.A), which had operating revenues of $9.09 billion, which meant an increase of 21.10% compared to 2020.


There is also Supertiendas and Droguerías Olímpica, which reached operating revenues of $ 6.63 billion, an advance of 4.90% compared to 2020.


The Barranquilla company is closely followed by the hard discount chain Ara (Jerónimo Martins Colombia), which ranks 21st with operating income equivalent to $ 5.34 billion, 35.50% more.

Top 35 of the 1,000 largest companies in Colombia


With this level of operating income, the two main hard discount chains in the country, D1 and Ara, already surpass large companies such as Avianca ($4.39 billion), Compensar ($4.26 million), Cencosud ($4.15 billion) orGrupo Aval ($3.74 billion). Even so, only until 2020 D1 reported positive profits after more than 10 years of operation.


In a recent interview with Bloomberg Line, Kantar Worldpanel's Chief Commercial Officer, Katya Lopez, told Bloomberg Line that the discount store channel has grown with an equation that includes savings, convenience and time.


According to Katya López, between January and February of this year nine out of ten households bought at least once in these stores, which she considered "one of the great strengths of the format." She added that these discount chains participate with 20% of total spending in the mass consumption basket in households, but indicated, based on the evolution of the format in European countries, that the challenge is "to find an adequate portfolio to meet the needs of buyers, without losing sight of their business model. "


The expert considered that it is important that these chains maintain their logistics model, "which starts from efficiency", while "they manage to maximize the value of their sales".


For this it is important, she concluded, that they not only leverage their growth in the number of households that buy in these chains, but also ensure that they spend more within these channels and become habitual consumers.


Colombia’s top 35 in 2021

  1. Ecopetrol

  2. Terpel

  3. Cartagena Refinery

  4. Cellular communication (Clear)

  5. Almacenes Éxito

  6. Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM)

  7. New EPS

  8. Koba Colombia (D1)

  9. Colombian Trade (Alkosto)

  10. Drummond

  11. EPS Sura

  12. Cenit Transport and Logistics of Hydrocarbons

  13. Commercial Kopps

  14. EPS Sanitas

  15. Superstores and Olympic Drugstores

  16. Carbones del Cerrejón

  17. Codensa

  18. Primax

  19. Bavaria

  20. Colombia Telecommunications (Telefonica)

  21. Jeronimo Martins (Ara stores)

  22. Sodimac

  23. Total Health EPS

  24. Emgesa

  25. Central Pipeline

  26. Avianca

  27. Compensate

  28. Cencosud

  29. C.I Trafigura Petroleum Colombia

  30. Esenttia

  31. Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores

  32. Samsung Electronics

  33. Famisanar EPS

  34. Celsia

  35. Isagen

Source: Bloomberg


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