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The distribution network in Spain

Evolution of the Sector
Both globally and nationally, the scope and impact of COVID-19 remains uncertain and is rapidly evolving. The retail competitive landscape in Spain remained highly diversified in 2021, led by major grocery retailers. Grocery retail is the most important retail channel in Spain, representing more than half of total store-based retailing value sales. In 2020, the food processing industry recorded a turnover of $157 billion, accounting for 2% of GDP (USDA).

While hypermarkets and larger sized supermarkets control a large share of sales, small sized supermarkets located in urban areas are becoming ever more popular due to their proximity to the consumer (generally located within walking distance of residential and/or business areas). Supermarkets and self-service stores are consumers’ prefered channel, accounting for 47.6% of total food purchases in 2020 (MAPA). According to Euromonitor, in 2019, supermarket sales increased by 4% in current value terms to reach 60.3 billion euros. Supermarket sales are expected to increase 3% in the next five years.

Convenience stores are very popular for last minute purchases. The sales through this kind of store have largely benefited from increasingly busy lifestyles. The main advantage pointed out by convenience store consumers include their opening hours (open longer hours than other stores). However, these stores are going through a rough time due to their high prices.

Traditional markets are composed of corner grocery stores, open-air markets and regional markets. Wholesalers are the main suppliers for traditional markets. Usually, the corner grocery stores are family owned and located within residential and/or neighborhood areas. Although they are small, they usually carry a diversified range of food and cleaning products. Sanitary conditions are good and most have a small refrigeration area. Although their prices are usually higher than in any other type of outlet, they are quite popular for their high quality fresh produce and their proximity.

The leading online retail channel in 2020 remained Amazon with a 19.4% value share of the market (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). According to Euromonitor, food and drink products are the most popular product type sold via internet retailing in Spain. More families, particularly in the big urban areas, save time buying their groceries online. Still, the importance of internet retailing within grocery retailing has plenty of room to grow.
Market share
Distribution in Spain is still characterized by a large number of retailers and traditional stores. Hypermarkets/supermarkets, convenience stores, major discount stores and specialized stores coexist with traditional corner grocery stores and open-air markets.

In 2021, grocery retail distribution was dominated by:
•    Mercadona SA (supermarkets) with EUR 25.5 billion sales in 2021 and 26.7% market shares
•    Carrefour (hypermarkets, supermarkets, discount stores) : 7.3% market shares
•    Grupo Eroski (hypermarkets and supermarkets) : 4.5% market shares
•    Auchan retail : 3% market shares
•    Lidl supermercados (discount store) : 5.8% market shares
•    Dia retail (discount store) : 5.4% market shares
•    Consum : 3.4% market shares

Retail Sector Organisations
National Association of Mass Distribution Companies (ANGED)
Spanish Food and Drink Industry Federation
Spanish Chamber of Commerce

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Latest Update: April 2024

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