By the end of the year, Lidl will open between 10 and 20 new supermarkets in Serbia on the same day. The German supermarket chain has recently opened their logistics centre in Nova Pazova, because, in their words, when the supermarkets open their doors, Lidl wants everything run as smoothly as possible.
In an interview for Vecernje Novosti, Tomislav Sapina, the director of Lidl Serbia, talks about what the arrival of a new “supermarket player” in Serbia means for consumers, but also for competition.
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* Can you give guarantees that you will have lower prices than you competition?
– Our goal is for Lidl to have the most affordable consumer basket with quality products.
* Are you going to have lower prices because you skip on quality or cut your margin?
– There is no compromise when it comes to quality, which is the first criterion for buying Lidl’s brands. Once this prerequisite is met, our goods are available for purchase. We can have affordable prices, because we have no waste in our processes. We are efficient at every step, be it in organization, storage, or packaging.
* How many domestic and how many foreign products are you going to offer?
– We are still in the process of putting together a special opening product range, but what I can tell you now is that domestic suppliers will be represented with over 350 products, whether these are locally well-known brands or produced under the Lidl brand.
* As many as 23,000 people have applied for the 1,500 vacancies in Lidl. Have you come across such interest?
– This figure demonstrates that we are a desirable employer in Serbia. This is partly because Lidl has already proved to be a good employer in many other European countries and that we have a good reputation which was heard here even before we opened any stores. On the other hand, as a fair and transparent company, when we advertise for workers, we are very open in terms of what we expect and what we offer, which was very welcomed by the candidates. Our work organization implies that sales staff has various duties. In turn, we offer them a five-day working week, adequate compensation and compensation under the “Every Minute is Paid” system. We are aware that the key to success lies in the satisfied employees and satisfied customers.
* Why did you wait so long to come to Serbia? What has changed and have there been any obstacles?
– I would not say that we were waiting per se, nor were there any obstacles. We are thoroughly prepared to serve our customers and we open new stores in line with internally set deadlines. In just one day, we can successfully open between 10 and 20 stores. If we want to have a system that functions smoothly, we need to think carefully, test and harmonize many processes.
* How would you rate the competition in Serbia?
– The retail market in Serbia is such that there is enough room for new stakeholders, especially because Lidl will be the first and so far, confident that Lidl, with its best price to quality ratio, can win their trust and ensure stable business.
*Is the habit of Serbian consumers buying on a small scale going to affect your business policy?
– Consumer habits, just like other market players, are changing. It is our responsibility to monitor these changes. I am convinced that Lidl’s concept of a unique shopping experience, which has proven successful in countries throughout Europe, will be well received in Serbia.
CONTROLLING PRODUCT FRESHNESS
*You have just opened a logistics centre in Nova Pazova. What does this mean for domestic consumers?
– The centre will be the starting point for all the products we will offer, and this is the place where, before the products arrive to our stores, we check their quality and freshness. Also, from here, goods will be delivered to our stores every day. Both are very important for consumers, because they are a prerequisite for us having fresh, quality products on our shelves.
(Vecernje Novosti, 18.06.2018)
This post is also available in: Italiano