Dia loses customers and market share in the year of its worst crisis | Economy

In the midst of the worst crisis in its history, with multimillion-dollar losses and financial straits, Dia lost in 2018 a good chunk of its market share. The supermarket chain continues to be the third largest distributor of consumer products, behind the increasingly powerful Mercadona and Carrefour, but moves away from the second place with a drop of 0.7 points in market share, to 7 , 5%, the biggest loss of the most important groups operating in Spain, according to the balance sheet data of the KantrarWorldpanel consultancy, made public this Tuesday. In addition, it lost 1.7 penetration points, to 64.5% of households, that is, it lost close to 300,000 customers in Spain in one year. Before the fall of Dia, Mercadona, Lidl and regional supermarkets collect that loss of customers and spending. The Juan Roig chain is already the destination of almost one in four euros that Spaniards spend in the shopping cart.

At the end of 2018, Dia maintains its third position in the list of distribution chains in Spain, but its share of the pie of the sector declines and many customers have stopped approaching their stores. Its market share in 2018 fell to 7.5% compared to 8.2% the previous year, according to Florencio García, responsible for distribution of Kantar WorldPanel. But he sees more worrying the fall of clients. Its penetration in the approximately 16 million households that Kantar contemplates falls from 66.6% to 64.9%. That is, it loses 272,000 clients in a year.

Florencio Garcia explained that the consultant has not detected "an acceleration" in the last months of the fall of the share of Dia, but it is a "constant trend" that has been recorded in the last two years and attributed to lost attractiveness among customers by price and increased competition, which caused it to lose profitability per store. "They have the largest park, but they sell much less than other competitors," García said. "After a first stage of acquisitions and purchases, they took over the largest park of stores, and now they suffer for it," he summarized.

Kantar notes that the fall in the share of Dia is due exclusively to its classic formats, the Dia brand, compared to formats such as La Plaza, with a wide range of fresh products, or Dia & Go, the proximity and convenience model with a large presence of products for carry or consume immediately. According to Garcia, Dia's challenge is to update his store park to new formats, but he has to do it now. "His model of convenience evolves positively, because it responds to consumer trends, but 2019 will tell us if that transformation arrives on time or arrives late," said García. "His challenge is to generate a good image for consumers, that had been left out for a long time," he said. And as for the image, warns: if the financial crisis of the group may have gone more unnoticed for the general public, the layoffs planned by -2,100 in Spain- will not. "The dismissals can provoke a mahyor reaction and that must be taken care of in the coming months," he said.

And who are the maximum beneficiaries of the Dia crisis? "You can not clearly see a transfer to a particular chain, Mercadona, Lidl or the regional ones, who are opening stores near Dia," he answered.

In fact, Mercadona earns a good portion of the quota in one year, another one, of stagnation of the volume of sales due to the null growth of the population. The Valencian chain already reaches 24.9% of consumer spending, 0.8 points more, followed by Carrefour, which loses 0.3 points, to 8.4%. After Mercadona, Lidl is the chain that earns the most, 0.5 points, to stand at 4.8% share and, as García highlighted, the one that earns the most clients, placing its penetration at 66.5% of the homes, 2.5 points more than a year ago and already ahead of Carrefour and Dia. Garcia points out that the challenge of the German chain is to stop being a destination of "occasional, bazaar or sporadic purchases" to raise the value of the average ticket. "His challenge is to make the customers that fill the basket more", he said, and has given an example: "With the same penetration, that is, the same customers, Carrefour has twice the quota."


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