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Colombia: Discounter Ara opens its 1000th store in Cartagena, Colombia

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

After almost 10 years of presence in Colombia, through its brand Ara, the Portuguese company Jerónimo Martins opened this week its thousandth store in the country and the chosen city is Cartagena, in its Historic Center.

The new Ara store in Cartagena is on Calle de La Mantilla with an area of 227 m². The opening of this new store will be led by Pedro Leandro, CEO of Jerónimo Martins Colombia.

For Saad Escaff, Director of Operations of the North Zone of Jerónimo Martins Colombia, "the opening of the thousand store is a great pride and that this opening is today in Cartagena and within the Walled City, has a much more special connotation and is proof that the company believes a lot in Colombia."

The accumulated investments of Jerónimo Martins in Colombia are estimated at 4.5 billion pesos and for the CEO of the company, Pedro Leandro, "it is a long-term project, which began almost 10 years ago and is a project designed and envisioned to last. We have the ambition to grow because we believe that it is a country with many conditions to continue the project and it is a country that has received the brand and the format very well in a generous and loving way, which motivate us to continue in the future. For the future it will come more than what we have been doing now."

He recalled that after the slowdown of the pandemic, between 2021 and 2022, the company will end up opening more than 400 stores and we will continue to grow because we still lack many departments and municipalities to expand the presence of the brand in Colombia.

In this format of convenience stores, Ara is a great protagonist along with D1. It is estimated that the segment participates with 20% of total retail sales, but Ara has a trend of increasing market share, say brand spokespeople.

Leandro stressed that the format of the stores has had a very good acceptance and therefore it is thought to accelerate the expansion, as it is a format of proximity that allows the daily purchase of Colombian families. The opening of a store of this brand generates about 10 direct jobs on the Caribbean Coast.

The Northern Zone of the country, made up of the 8 departments of the Colombian Caribbean, expects to close the year with a little more than 4 thousand direct jobs. In the Caribbean region the brand has 351 stores and in Bolivar there are a little more than 50 stores between Cartagena and municipalities such as Arjona, El Carmen de Bolívar, San Juan Nepomuceno, San Jacinto, Turbaco, Marialabaja, Calamar, among others.

Ara also supports local suppliers and in the case of the North Zone has 60 suppliers that supply them in different categories, especially in fruits and vegetables, meats, bakery and rice, says Saad Escaff, Director of Operations of the Northern Zone of Jerónimo Martins Colombia.

Source: El Universal

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