60 Eroski stores will open across Asturias, Castilla Leon, Castilla la Mancha, Madrid, Andalusia and Catalonia

60 Eroski stores will open across Asturias, Castilla Leon, Castilla la Mancha, Madrid, Andalusia and Catalonia

Spanish retailer Eroski is to invest EUR15m (US$19.7m) in the expansion of its franchise store network in Spain this year.

The investment, announced yesterday (5 March), will see the opening of 60 stores across Asturias, Castilla Leon, Castilla la Mancha, Madrid, Andalusia and Catalonia. Around 325 jobs are expected to be created through the store openings.

The new franchises are part of a strategy by Eroski to open 150 stores between 2011 and 2013. The stores will incorporate updates to the Eroski City model that will include improved supply systems, distribution and technology.

The stores, which will use the Eroski banner, will each have an area of between 300-500sq m and be located in cities or small towns with over 1,500 inhabitants. All will have an emphasis on locally-sourced "fresh dairy, fruit and vegetables", the retailer said.

"Franchising is a successful formula, which provides wealth and employment, both direct and indirect, in the areas where openings are made," said Eroski's director of franchise Enrique Martinez.

"Today, the financial and economic situation does not facilitate the implementation of new business, but the 32 starts of 2011 and the 60 openings in 2012 are evidence that even in this situation there are formulas that generate wealth and employment. The Eroski group along with its franchisees are committed to it. "