Portugal Sonae Acquires Brio Organic Chain

Gildas Aitamer (Senior Retail Analyst)
27 April 2017

Portuguese retailer Sonae has announced the acquisition of the Brio organic chain of stores. Founded in 2008, Brio has six supermarkets, all of which are located in the Lisbon area. The retailer says it expects that the move will “accelerate the execution of its Health & Wellness strategic growth revenue, namely in the healthy eating segment”. The completion of this acquisition is subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions. 

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Gildas Aitamer (Senior Retail Analyst)
Gildas Aitamer (Senior Retail Analyst)

Opinion New Horizon or Niche?

27 April 2017

Of all top Portuguese retailers, Sonae is the most dependent on its home country. To sustain growth, the retailer is venturing abroad but has mostly diversified in its home market. It operates across a wide array of sectors, including food and non-food retail. It is from this perspective that we see the acquisition: a new growth segment Sonae is trying to tap into.

The move fits well to complement Sonae’s takeover of the Go Natural healthy restaurant chain a few months ago, for instance. The limited size of the Brio chain will nonetheless significantly kickstart the retailer’s ambition as an organic specialist, which until now consisted of a single store operating under the Go Natural banner in Lisbon. More importantly, it will give the retailer access to suppliers. Looking forward, Sonae may want to consolidate its store network under one single brand.

Very much like in other European countries, most Portuguese retailers have slowly been developing the organic and healthy eating categories instore. While other European markets show there is strong potential, we wonder if Sonae is at the vanguard of a soon-to-take-off consumer trend in Portugal; or will it find itself in a niche contained to the affluent Greater Lisbon area?  

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