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Mercadona, S.A.
Sociedad Anónima
FoundedTavernes Blanques, Valencian Community, Spain (January 1, 1977 (1977-01-01))
FounderFrancisco Roig Ballester
Tavernes Blanques
Number of locations
1,588 stores (30.6.2016)[1]
Area served
Key people
Juan Roig (Chairman & CEO)
OwnerJuan Roig (63%)
Hortensia Herrero (28%)
Fernando Roig (9%)
Number of employees

Mercadona (Valencian: [meɾkaˈðɔna], Spanish: [meɾkaˈðona]) is a Spanish family-owned supermarket chain. Francisco Roig Ballester and his wife, Trinidad Alfonso Mocholi, founded the company in 1977,[2] which began as a small butcher shop in Valencia.[3] 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 locations in 46 provinces of 17 autonomous communities.

Mercadona was ranked the 9th most reputable company in the world in 2009 by the Reputation Institute as listed in Forbes magazine.[4]


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[5] and brought in more than €508 million in profits for the 2012 fiscal year.[6]

CEO Juan Roig plans to bring Mercadona to Italy or France in 2014, but may modify his Spanish model of business to compete in the new markets. He was quoted in the Economist saying, "We must learn everything from everyone".[7]


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.[8]

Modern changes[edit]

Mercadona was the first Spanish company to use barcodes in its stores. The system has since permitted increased monitoring of product movement, in addition to an increase in the speed of customer checkout times.[6] Mercadona also has an automated distribution center, in the outskirts of Madrid, where computer monitors keep track of orders, while robot arms do all the work.[7] The modern adaptability of Mercadona has been a positive model for increasing productivity, and growing with the needs of the consumer.

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.[7] This included opting out of a glossy finish on packaging which company leaders deemed unnecessary,[3] 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.[7] 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]


Revenue in Millions of Euros[9]
Source: Mercadona


Mercadona employs more than 70,000 workers, all on permanent contracts. Upon hire, workers are required to complete four weeks of training, costing the company an average of $6,500 per employee. 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.[3] 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 only 5% employee turnover in 2012.[3]

Gluten-free products[edit]

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. All of this 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. 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. [10]

Customer service[edit]

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


  1. ^ a b What is Mercadona? at official website
  2. ^ Mercadona[better source needed]
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Kneale, Klaus World's Most Reputable Companies: The Rankings (2009) at Forbes magazine, 5 June 2009
  5. ^ "Mercadona". Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Meet Spain's Mercadona Supermarket Billionaires". Bloomberg TV. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  7. ^ a b c d "Spanish aisles, Why a low-price retailer is thriving". The Economist. 4 June 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Fernando Roig". Forbes. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  9. ^ Mercadona (Spoin) (ed.). "Revenue. Oficial Data". Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Mercadona now offers 850 gluten-free products". ThinkSpain. Retrieved 30 April 2017.

External links[edit]