Romania attracts even more international retailers

The international crisis is making major retailers to change their expansion strategies towards expansion on the emerging markets, retail companies such as Lidl and Aldi, already having offices in Romania, being close to opening new stores.
Ionut Pascu, senior consultant with strategy consultancy Roland Berger, quoted on September 26 by Business Standard daily, stressed that if, up to now, Lidl and Aldi were oriented to markets in Western Europe, due to economic stability in this zone, with the start of the international economic crisis their interest is directed to markets in Central and Eastern Europe, their growth potential being high.
Lidl& Schwartz group, present in Romania through the Kaufland chain, plans to open two new stores this year in Iasi County (north-east) – in Iasi and Pascani cities. As well, local authorities in Bistrita (Romania’s north) have announced construction of a Lidl outlet in this city.
Aldi and Lidl have analyzed the Romanian market before, but economic instability, inflation and the explosion of prices constituted a major risk. Western markets now have no potential for growth, while Central and Eastern European markets have a high growth potential, with exceeded risks.
On the other hand, Romania is the second-largest retail market in Europe, and the discount segment has a high growth potential, because a classic 1,200 square meter discount store can be opened in any location, from large cities to communes, according to Ionut Pascu.
German Aldi Co., one of the top ten retailers worldwide, has entered on the Romanian market through Aldi Stores Co., controlled by Austrian Hofer Co. The company has yet to open a store in Romania, but its entrance on the market shows that it is getting ready for the next step.
Company representation to Romania was registered in 2007.
Aldi and Lidl, main rivals on the German market, will also compete on the Romanian discount market, which becomes increasingly dynamic and expansive.
Lidl announced investments worth 150 million euros for the opening of 100 stores in Romania by 2011. At last year-end, Lidl Romanian branch announced that, in the four years to come, it plans to open 15-20 stores per year, after two years ago it gave up the expansion of its chain locally. Needed investment for the construction of such a store is of 1-1.5 million euros, including the land price.
On the discount stores segment in Romania well-known retailers are present, such as Tengelmann (Plus Discount), Lidl&Schwarz (Kaufland), Louis Delhaize (Profi) and Rewe (Penny Market).
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