The concept of the stores “closest to you” was created in 1999, when, based on Polish capital, the first Dino stores opened in the Wielkopolska region. In subsequent years, we have systematically worked on both expansion to new locations and the quality of the goods and shopping comfort of our customers. Today the Dino Group is the fastest growing chain of mid-sized supermarkets in Poland, both in terms of the number of stores, and in terms of sales revenue.
Below, we present some events that were important milestones in the history of our brand.
Everything started in 1999, when, in the Wielkopolska region, the first store under the Supermarket Dino brand opened its doors.
In 2002, to support the growth of our store chain, our first distribution centre was created in Krotoszyn. In subsequent years it has been successively expanded.
In 2003, the Dino chain successfully established capital ties with the Agro-Rydzyna meat plant, which had been supplying our stores with fresh meat since the very beginning of our chain’s existence. This way we have secured supplies of fresh, high quality meat and sausages for our continually developing Dino store chain.
In 2004-2009, after trying out various development possibilities, Dino’s management noticed a potential for expansion of mid-sized supermarkets in small and medium-sized towns, and on the outskirts of large cities. As a result, in that period we were able to successfully continue expanding our chain around our distribution centre in the Wielkopolska region, at a rate of about a dozen new stores per year.
In 2010, PEF VI, managed by Enterprise Investors, indirectly acquired a 49% interest in Dino, becoming a strategic minority investor. The capital for development we gained this way became a catalyst for dynamic growth in subsequent years. We entered the year 2011, in which we transformed into a joint-stock company, owning 111 stores.
In 2013, in order to assist the economic development of central Poland, we opened our second distribution centre, this time leased, in Piotrków Trybunalski. In the meantime, the number of our stores had exceeded 300, and at the end of the year it reached 324, which means that in 2011-2013 our chain grew at the average rate of 43% annually.
In the years 2014-2015 we increased the pace of our development. At the end of 2015 we had 511 stores, located in 12 out of 16 polish provinces. Almost in a blink of an eye, from a purely regional player we transformed ourselves into the second fastest-growing, in terms of both the number of stores, and sales revenues, food-retail chain in Poland. This was possible thanks to our unwavering belief that fresh food, including meats and sausages sold from behind a traditional counter, are, and will continue to be, the most important items on the everyday shopping lists of Poles. To make this freshness possible, practically from the very beginning we have built our stores close to whre our customers live, with medium-sized floor plans so shopping can be done quickly and comfortably.
In 2016, throughout the year, every third day on average we opened a new Dino-branded store somewhere in Poland. Each location has been very carefully chosen by our experienced staff so that the stores are easy to reach for our customers, and also at reasonable distances from our distribution centres so we can supply the stores daily with fresh, inexpensive products. At the same time, the number of employees, working for us at the headquarters, in the warehouses, and at the stores, has grown to approximately 10 thousand. The store chain itself has grown to over 600 stores, and also our presence in the north of the country is becoming stronger. The way north has been opened for us by our third distribution centre, in Jastrowie near Piła, which became operational in July 2016.
In 2017 we opened 147 new stores while we ended the year with a network numbering 775 stores. We have a well-tested and fine-tuned growth strategy allowing more and more residents of Poland to think about Dino as the store to do their daily shopping. The PEF VI Fund managed by Enterprise Investors sold its entire stake (49%) in Dino on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. From that moment several million Poles, through mutual funds and open-end pension funds, individual investors and reputable international institutions have been the co-owners of Dino Polska. Following the IPO Dino Polska continues to be a company predominantly owned by Polish capital.
In 2018 we opened 202 new stores and we now have nearly one thousand stores. Clients have responded positively to the Dino stores opened in their neighborhood. We are confident that this stems from the attractiveness of our store format that is aligned to the evolving trends and needs of Poles. It enables them to do their shopping quickly and in comfortable conditions at good prices close to their places of residence. It also offers a wide selection of fresh products. At the end of the year we opened our fourth distribution center in Rzeszotary in Lower Silesia enabling us to continue our expansion. We have more than 16.5 thousand employees.
In 2019, we opened 243 new Dino stores and now our network comprises 1,218 outlets throughout Poland. In Łobez, in the Western Pomeranian Region, we started to build another distribution center to support further geographic expansion of our network. At the same time, we started to install photovoltaic panels on the roofs of Dino stores. This is one of our key environmental projects thanks to which our stores will be powered with friendly energy produced by the sun. At the end of 2019 the Dino Group had 20.7 thousand employees.