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Sonae (Portugal) Opens First Store in Latin America

17 Oct 2012 - This first step towards establishing Sonae’s international presence in the region took place with the opening of a Zippy store in the Dominican Republic under a franchising agreement with the Phoenix Group.

This process of expansion of Sonae SR has contributed towards progressively increasing Sonae’s international revenues, while at the same time enabling the company to benefit from exposure to markets in different phases of economic growth.

Miguel Mota Freitas, CEO of Sonae SR, says: “The opening of Sonae’s first specialised retail store in Latin America marks yet another important milestone in the history of the international growth of our brands. We are planning to also expand Zippy’s operations to Venezuela, Colombia and Panama, thus strengthening the growing internationalisation of Sonae, which today has interests in more than 60 countries across the world among its various business areas”.

The expansion plan for Latin America envisages the opening of another 25 Zippy stores through until 2016. This first Zippy store is located in Santo Domingo, in the Agora Mall, the first “green” shopping centre in the capital of the Dominican Republic, which opened to the public last August. The Zippy store has 172 square metres and has an offer that is exactly the same as those in Portugal, although adapted to the local environment and culture.

After the steady increase in business in Iberia and the Middle East, Sonae SR now enters a new and highly dynamic region. The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama are showing robust economic growth rates and have a joint population of 90 million people, in which the age group from 0 to 14 years is significant, and broadens the sphere of influence of Sonae SR’s brands to around 300 million consumers.

The expansion now underway is being followed using a “capital light” strategy, in this case through a franchising agreement with the Phoenix Group, one of the biggest fashion retail groups in Latin America. The partnership covers the Zippy brand (baby and children’s clothing) and will enable Sonae to expand rapidly n the region, taking advantage of the synergies arising from the businesses already being operated by Sonae’s partner.

Sonae SR’s expansion has been achieved through the opening of its own stores but also using “capital light” strategies, namely partnerships, and franchising and wholesale agreements.

At the end of the first six months of 2012, Sonae SR’s brands had 561 stores, of which 24 were operated under franchising agreements, with a total of 423 thousand m2 of sales area, spread among the following countries; Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kazakhstan.