Monday, 9 May 2022, 12:59
A change of habits by consumers since the start of the pandemic is believed to be the reason so many new supermarkets have opened in Malaga province recently: since April 2020 the biggest supermarket chains have opened around 50 new branches. Covirán now has eight more, Maskom, Mas and Carrefour have opened a further seven each, Mercadona has added five, El Jamón, Aldi and Suma each have another four, and there are three new Lidl stores in the province.
Most of these are in Malaga city and large tourist resorts such as Torremolinos, Mijas, Fuengirola and Marbella, although a few have been in small inland towns.
To put this in context, last year the Supersol chain closed down and sold all its supermarkets to Carrefour, Maskom and El Jamón. Carrefour took over 48 of the stores, most of which have now been converted into Carrefour Market, Maskom bought four and El Jamón five.
These new supermarkets have created about 600 new jobs, with an average of 12 staff in each store. Malaga now has over 700 large supermarkets in total, employing around 13,000 people.
Although new supermarkets have been opening up all over Andalucía since the pandemic began, Malaga has gained more than any other province in the region. In 2021 two out of every ten new shops were in Malaga, and it is also proving popular for international chains which are opening in Andalulcía for the first time. One example is Costco, which is due to open a branch in Malaga Nostrum retail park and is considering other towns as well. The British giant Tesco also opened its first store in Andalucía in Mijas, early on in the pandemic.
Nevertheless, experts say that although Covid has changed people’s buying habits, it is noticeable that supermarket sales rose sharply in 2020, when the bars were closed for most of the year, but stabilised in 2021, when they were open again and people had somewhere else to go and buy alcohol and soft drinks. However, in general a supermarket close to home is a welcome addition for most families.
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