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Mercadona: “If the going gets tough, we'll open on Sundays”
07 March 2014 @ 18:38

MERCADONA'S founder and chairman says 2014 is set to be a 'rough year' for the popular supermarket chain and a second consecutive year when no new staff are taken on – despite 60 new stores due to be opened.

Juan Roig, said to be one of the top five richest people in Spain, has even hinted that the store may open on Sundays if it needs to increase its profits.

“We don't want to have to open, but if need be, we'll do so,” said Roig, who has always been against Mercadona shops trading on bank holidays.

But fierce competition in the grocery sector means the chain is beginning to feel the pinch – and customers have noticed a sudden proliferation of 'special offers' and reduced prices just a few months after all goods went up by an average of five to 10 per cent.

Mercadona is far from struggling in real terms, however – its turnover of 19.8 billion euros in 2013 meant net profits of 515 million.

And although staff numbers have been frozen at 74,000 – after taking on 10,500 new employees both in 2011 and 2012 – Roig says the firm is committed to ensuring that full-time workers do not earn less than 1,200 euros a month...


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