QCOSTARICA – The AutoMercado supermarket chain announced plans to open on average, two new supermarkets a year between 2016 and 2014.
Company president, Guillermo Alonso, added that the chain has four supermarkets in the process of development, but suffering great delays due to “tramitomania” (bureaucracy) by state and municipal entities.
The supermarked chain has four stores in development, located in Heredia, Santa Ana, San Carlos and Curridabat. However, local governments and the state environment agency, the Seceretaría Técnica Ambiental (Setena), have delayed the start of construction. Alonso noted that the store planned for Santo Domingo de Heredia is now into 4 and a half years of processing.
The company chief did not divulge details of the expansion plans for the coming eight years, only saying most of the stores will be in the greater metropolitan area of San Jose, with others in places like San Carlos and San Isidro de El General (Perez Zeledon).
He explained that the average investment in each store is US$4 million dollars and provides direct jobs for up to 110 people.
According to Alonso, the secret to survival for AutoMercado, now in its 55th year, is to differentiate itself, a strategy that is applied to buildings with different architecture, quality, customer service and constantly offering new products.
Alonso explained AutoMercado caters mainly to customers with a high socioeconomic status (“A” and “B”), but a significant number of its customers are of the “C”, “C1”, and “C2” segment, for this the chain offers “basic basket” (canasta basica in Spanish) products at very competitive prices in a distinctive shopping atmosphere.
Source: La Nacion