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Mercadona, S.A.
TypeSociedad Anónima
FounderFrancisco Roig Ballester
Number of locations
1,636 stores (11.9.2019)[1]
Area served
Spain, Portugal
Key people
Juan Roig (Chairman & ceo)
Revenue 25.5 billion (US$ 28 billion) (2019)
Total assets8,194,637,000 ±1000 euro (2016) Edit this on Wikidata
Number of employees

Mercadona (Valencian: [meɾkaˈðɔna], Spanish: [meɾkaˈðona]) is a Spanish family-owned supermarket chain, leader in the country. Francisco Roig Ballester and his wife, Trinidad Alfonso Mocholi, founded the company in 1977,[2] which began as a small butcher shop in a village in Valencia.[3][4] Juan Roig assumed the role of CEO in 1981 and the company has since expanded nationwide. In the 1990s, Juan Roig oversaw a series of changes companywide and revealed the new façade of Mercadona which was able to compete with its French competitor Carrefour and the co-operative Eroski. Mercadona has 1,636 stores in all the 17 autonomous communities of Spain, Ceuta, Melilla and in northern Portugal.

Mercadona was ranked the 9th most reputable company in the world in 2009 by the Reputation Institute as listed in Forbes magazine.[5]


Since its days as a butcher shop in 1977, Mercadona expanded to eight stores in 1981 and 1,148 stores as of October 2013 with more on the way. Today it holds 13.5% of Spain's total food retail space[6] and brought in more than €508 million in profits for the 2012 fiscal year.[7]

CEO Juan Roig plans to bring Mercadona to Italy or France but may modify his Spanish model of business to compete in the new markets.[8] He was quoted in the Economist saying, "We must learn everything from everyone".[9]

The Mercadona Management Committee approved in 2016 the start of the expansion in Portugal, the first supermarket in Vila Nova de Gaia opened their doors in July 2019.[10]


Juan Roig is the CEO and major shareholder, his wife Hortensia Herrero owns 28%, and his brother Fernando Roig owns 9%. They are all billionaires.[2]

Business model[edit]

Mercadona dedicates much of its resources to eliminating unnecessary costs in its packaging. According to the Economist, the chain has saved €2.2 billion by reducing packaging materials.[9] This included opting out of a glossy finish on packaging which company leaders deemed unnecessary,[4] and adding a plastic lid to a can of tuna, making it easier to open and more appealing to purchase.

Mercadona does not spend capital resources on advertising or marketing campaigns, yet another method of cutting costs.[9] It instead relies on word of mouth and free social media to promote and maintain its brand. Their Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts share pictures and videos of products and company practices.[citation needed]

Modern changes[edit]

Mercadona was the first Spanish company to use barcodes in its stores. The system has since permitted greater monitoring of product movement in addition to an increase in the speed of customer checkout times.[7] Mercadona also has an automated distribution center on the outskirts of Madrid, where computer monitors keep track of orders while robot arms do all the work.[9]


Revenue in Millions of Euros[11]
Source: Mercadona


Mercadona employs more than 90,000 workers, all on permanent contracts. Upon hire, workers are required to complete four weeks of training. Employees must also go through twenty additional hours of training each year. Employees receive salaries above the national average of workers in the grocery store industry and the majority of employees receive a bonus each year.[4] Leaders of Mercadona believe this combination of training and payment creates employees who are dedicated and flexible when it comes to meeting customer needs. It is also believed to have helped the company to maintain a relatively low level of employee turnover, only 5% in 2012.[4]

Gluten-free products[edit]

Gluten-free products were hard to come by in Spain, which prompted Mercadona to create a whole line of gluten-free products at very affordable prices.[12] Mercadona offers over 850 products for the wheat-intolerant. Mercadona has received over 750 comments, suggestions and requests from wheat-intolerant customers and coeliac associations in 2013, and has acted on these by passing them onto distribution companies and food manufacturers, as well as the store's own factories. Mercadona aims to create products that taste as close as possible to their mainstream counterparts while keeping the costs as low as possible. Products for the wheat-intolerant at Mercadona include yogurt, instant potato for making 'tortilla', or Spanish omelet, beans, sauces, hot chocolate powder, snack mixes, sliced bread, and even iced lollies and drinkable sorbets. It is said that the gluten-free movement started in Mercadona when a member of the founding family was diagnosed with coeliac disease.

Customer service[edit]

The website caters to speakers of Spanish, Valencian, Catalan, Galician, Basque, English and German.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b [1] at official website
  2. ^ a b "Fernando Roig". Forbes. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Mercadona reveals suppliers to fight claims of ditching Spanish produce". El País. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Ball, Deborah and Ilan Brat (23 October 2012). "Spanish Supermarket Chain Finds Recipe". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  5. ^ Kneale, Klaus World's Most Reputable Companies: The Rankings (2009) at Forbes magazine, 5 June 2009
  6. ^ "Mercadona". Mercadona. Archived from the original on 28 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Meet Spain's Mercadona Supermarket Billionaires". Bloomberg TV. 14 May 2013. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  8. ^ Romero, Víctor (March 13, 2019). "Francia o Italia, el dilema de Juan Roig en la segunda internacionalización de Mercadona". El Confidencial (in Spanish). Valencia: Titania Compañía Editorial, S.L. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d "Spanish aisles, Why a low-price retailer is thriving". The Economist. Madrid: The Economist Newspaper Limited. 4 June 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  10. ^ "Mercadona prepares its international expansion in Portugal". Sweet Press. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  11. ^ Mercadona (Spain) (ed.). "Revenue. Oficial Data". Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Mercadona now offers 850 gluten-free products". ThinkSpain. Retrieved 30 April 2017.

External links[edit]