A new Supermaxi opened in the southwest part of Cuenca on Friday. Located on Don Bosco at Miguel de Cervantes, it is the fourth in the city.
The official opening took place with balloons, music and popcorn. Rubén Salazar, corporate manager of Corporación La Favorita Supermaxi, attended the opening. He said that the southern part of the city has grown significantly in recent, yet there were no services like the ones that Supermaxi offers.
“After 11 months of construction, today we open the doors to this new location with a unique concept that offers ample space and separate areas for fresh foods, perishables, packaged products, cleaning products and personal hygiene products,” Salazar said.
He added that over 95% of all merchandise that will be marketed in the Supermaxi will be either nationally or locally produced. “There is a small amount of products that are imported but they have become nationalized by other companies and we buy them locally,” he said. “This allows us to generate more domestic production development and encourage local producers.”
The new Supermaxi employs 72 people. In addition, the front part of the store has six other businesses: Jairo Gomez, Movistar, Martinizing, Optics Los Andes, Tutto Freddo Nice Cream, and Produbanco.
As they have when other Supermaxis opened, some small businesses complained that the large supermarkets are unfair competition. Vendors at the city’s markets have also complained, saying that supermarkets reduce their volume of sales. They point out the fact that surveys have shown that food sold at the markets costs 20% to 50% less than at supermarkets (for market article, click here).
“People always complain about how expensive Supermaxi is, so why don’t they come to the mercados where they can save money?” asked Marta Albornoz, a fruit vendor at the 10 de Agosto market on Calle Larga.
Supermaxi regional manager, Santiago Santos, said employees of the new store received over a month of training to ensure good customer service. The store will also provide motorized shopping carts for those with disabilities.
The company was founded in 1945 in Quito, specializing in soaps, candles, and imported goods. It has more than 30 stores throughout western Ecuador. Supermaxi has more than 16 million customers and more than 1,900 employees. Of its 13,000 shareholders, 3,000 are employees. A primary shareholder is the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social (IESS).
Earlier this year, La Favorita Supermaxi announced it plans to build a fifth store in Cuenca, in the Challuabamba area, but has provided no further details.