Supermarket chain Mercadona on Friday approved wage increases for all its staff in Spain and Portugal, in line with the official inflation rate recorded in December.
“The objective is to maintain the purchasing power of all the people who are part of Mercadona, because they are the best asset of customers,” said in a statement the chain, which is the largest in Spain by turnover and market share.
The measure will take effect from the January payrolls of the more than 96,000 employees in Spain and Portugal, matching the consumer price index (CPI) of December of each country, added Mercadona.
European retailers have faced growing demands from their workers for wage increases that match or exceed inflation, which peaked at three-decade highs in several countries, including Spain and Portugal.
Consumer prices in Spain rose 5.8% year-on-year in December, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics. Average annual inflation was 8.4%, the highest since 1986.
Portugal’s year-on-year CPI stood at 9.6% in December, while the average rate for 2022 rose to 7.8%.
The increase will not only affect the basic salaries of the workers, as stipulated in their collective agreement, but also their total salaries, including the corresponding supplements, Mercadona said.
The group added that its recent cost-cutting measures to offset the increase in fixed costs had resulted in a 9% increase in productivity and savings of more than 200 million euros ($213.2 million) this year.
In January, Mercadona raised wages by 6.5% in Spain and 2.7% in Portugal.
This year it had a share of 25.8% of the Spanish market, 0.9% more than in 2021, according to a study by the consultancy Kantar, and obtained a net profit of 623 million euros and gross revenues of 25,500 million euros.
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