Ancora arrives to Spain as a new way of doing business, using the sales and distribution models that have already been successful in France, UK and USA, among others. In some cases, the traditional model has evolved towards large-scale operators that manage extensive catalogues of products; in others, the trend has been toward specialisation in logistics.

At the end of 2015, there were over 3,400 food distribution businesses operating in Spain, covering each of the three temperature groups: frozen, refrigerated and shelf-stable. Spain’s unique geography, regional and cultural diversity, and the period of economic growth which followed the transition to a new political system back in 1978, justified this proliferation of firms. Development was accelerated by the requirements of manufacturers, particularly those producing consumer brands, who were keen to see their products on every shelf of every traditional retailer. As a result, modern distribution grew consistently at a double-digit pace. Most operators are either self-employed or small to medium-sized businesses, and have focussed their activity on food service. These firms have limited sales and logistics structures, their value proposition based on providing excellent service, so enabling them to maintain reasonable levels of activity.

This scenario has changed as a result of:

  • the market’s constant evolution and adaptation to new retail formats
  • the appearance and development of centralised purchasing
  • new purchasing and consumer habits, with clients ever more demanding and better informed
  • a greater number of suppliers per point of sale
  • the appearance of logistics operators, which has professionalised the activity
  • the margins offered by large manufacturers, which are tighter every year

Food sales and distribution have to evolve, and quickly, towards efficient business models. These must provide relevant information, enabling agile decision-making and ensuring that operators continue to deliver in two key areas: service and flexibility.

In other countries, the model has already developed successfully. Now, in Spain, Ancora has the capacity and strategy to exceed expectations in a market that is undergoing real transformation.

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