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Obramat, a construction and renovation materials company, will open its doors in 2024 in Portugal. To orchestrate the launch of this new retail brand, we needed a leader who was familiar with the specificities of the country and enjoys taking on a challenge: Olivier Jonvel. A look back over our exchange.

Olivier, you worked on the establishment of Leroy Merlin in Portugal between 2001 and 2014. Why has ADEO now decided to address the Portuguese market for professionals with Obramat?


Olivier Jonvel: After France, Poland, Italy, Spain and Brazil, Portugal is a mature country ready for ADEO to enter the Pro market. Leroy Merlin has a strong presence there and market analysis reveals high potential for the renovation and construction sector in broad terms. Portugal has seen a real boom in the real estate industry since 2018. There are not that many new construction projects, but a lot of restorations.
And in terms of competition, distribution is fairly fragmented with 4,000 resellers, highly segmented by speciality, and no large multi-specialists. So it represents a great opportunity for Obramat.


Will Obramat in Portugal resemble the other BUs of the brand?


Olivier Jonvel:  Our promise is built on the same pillars as Obramat in Spain or even Obramax in Brazil: mass availability of products to meet the needs of professionals, highly competitive prices on recognised brands, speed of purchase and a privileged relationship with an ultra-specialised sales force who speak the same language as professionals and provide them with real and practical solutions.


What challenges do you face? Is the recruitment of ultra-specialised sales people one of them?


Olivier Jonvel:  There are three major stages to perform before we can open our first warehouse-store in Lisbon in the second half of 2024. First of all, we need to build an outstanding team.
More specifically, I first need to find the eight product leaders who will be the main core of the “start-up” and drive the project. Then, we will need to hire the managers for the first point of sale, and indeed, the ultra-specialised sales force. For this critical phase, I am assisted by a recruitment firm and have the back-up of Obramat Human Resources in Spain. We are hiring outside, but also within ADEO!
The second stage involves building the product range. We will have about ten months to do this. We will need to choose the brands and products that meet ultra-local requirements. And finally, the last stage will be the construction of the warehouse-store itself. Conscious of the potential, we are aiming big – 50% bigger than a standard store (5,000 m2  for logistics) – right from the outset to send a clear signal of our ambition.


Indeed, what is Obramat’s ambition in Portugal?


Olivier Jonvel:  We want to establish a new PRO market leader in Portugal, with the opening each year, from 2024 onwards, of one or two stores in the Greater Lisbon area, in the Algarve, in Porto…
Given our success in southern Europe, we dare to dream big. But our ambition is as great as our humility. While we are confident because we have the know-how of ADEO and especially of Obramat Spain, we must remain humble in our learning process: each country is a new adventure. We should not try to impose a concept, we should always be adaptable. But above all, it’s a wonderful human adventure of business creation. The Grail of the intrapreneur! 



in the 2nd half of 2024


product leaders

currently being recruited


country where ADEO

is developing the PRO market