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Sonae strengthens investment in innovation

Sonae strengthens investment in innovation


 "Retail Book of Innovation 2016” presents the 71 most representative projects

Sonae maintained its strategic investment in innovation throughout 2016, generating and implementing over 600 innovative projects which contributed to consolidate its leadership position in retail in Portugal and strengthen its presence on a global scale.

Last year alone, Sonae’s investment in innovation, research and development is estimated to have risen to 110 million euros, involving over 300 partners across 25 countries in 4 continents.

According to the information revealed in the "Retail Book of Innovation 2016”, a pioneer report in the international business sector now being published for the eighth consecutive year by Sonae, innovation projects took in an estimated investment of 110 million euros last year. This amount corresponds to 652 research, development and innovation projects, with an average investment of 169 thousand euros.

This ongoing dedication to innovation has already amounted to an accumulated investment of more than 600 million euros over the past ten years, reflecting Sonae’s special attention to research, development and innovation initiatives in retail. Sonae’s commitment to Innovation was further fostered by an enhanced participation of the Group’s teams in innovation initiatives, which, according to a preliminary analysis, involved over eight thousand employees directly, in a total of hours equivalent to 836 employees working full time.

The innovation projects that were developed and implemented allowed Sonae to increase sales, reduce costs and save time spent in several processes, thus providing a positive contribution to the results obtained by Sonae.

Nuno Gama, Head of Innovation and Future Tech at Sonae, says: "Innovation is a core value in Sonae, present in our daily mission and conduct. This priority has translated into a serious and permanent investment, on a financial and on a human level, so we can continue to guarantee that all our clients’ needs and preferences are swiftly met. A cornerstone in our strategy, Innovation is contemplated in the mission of our several business units. Every day we seek to stimulate the creativity of our employees, the leading actors of innovation across the organisation. More and more, this Innovation culture is crossing over company boundaries, positioning Sonae as a leading company in an open, interchanging, multinational and intercultural innovation, with partners in four continents. Our Innovation Book is the reflection of these values, of the contribution of our employees and of our openness to the world, revealing the main innovations of 2016 which will shape upcoming years in Sonae.”

The "Retail Book of Innovation 2016” presents a selection of 71 innovations developed and implemented by Sonae retail brands, including the Omni-channel Supply Engine & Supply Stores, a new algorithm to support the order management engine taking into account different variables; PAM – Product Allocation Management, a new algorithm for SportZone’s commercial team; Touchless, an invoice processing automated system in Sonae, and the new kitchen robot, Yammi 2. Sonae’s innovative projects are rated on a scale of "Higher, Faster, Stronger”, which identified a top three of the best initiatives for each criterion, each representing gains of more than 30 million euros in annual sales, a reduction of 70% in time spent and savings of 13 million euros in costs.

Open innovation extended to more than 300 partners from 25 countries

Sonae invests in an open innovation strategy, working in a growing collaborative ecosystem that acts as a propeller of innovation. This network includes universities, R&D centres, technology transfer units, startups, incubators and accelerators, business partners and companies from the most varied sectors of business, including other retailers.

Sonae retail businesses rely on more than 300 partners for innovation around the world – a remarkable climb compared to the more than 150 partners in 2015 –, involving institutions from 25 countries, in four continents. This is how Sonae intends to foster the sharing of knowledge and the development of initiatives through collaborative networks.

The "Retail Book of Innovation” is available at:

The new website dedicated to all Innovation projects is available at:

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