Portugal-based retailer Jeronimo Martins has opened its first store in Colombia.

The company launched its chain, operating under the Ara banner, in the city of Pereira yesterday (13 March). Four more stores will be open by the end of today.

Colombia is Jeronimo Martins' third market. It also operates in Poland, where it generates the majority of its sales and profits.

The retailer said the Ara outlets are convenience stores, with an average sales area of between 300 and 600 square metres.

It plans to spend EUR100m (US$129.7m) opening around 40 Ara stores this year. Jeronimo Martins has set a target of having 150 outlets in Colombia by the end of 2015. Its aim is to become one of the three largest retailers in the South American country.