Supermarket chain SPAR coming to Serbia

SPAR, one of the biggest supermarket chains in Europe, is planning to come to Serbia –  Bostjann Brantusa, SPAR’s expansion and development manager, has confirmed for

“Yes, SPAR has plans for Serbia,” Brantusa told on the margins of the CEE Property Forum in Vienna.

According to him, after the stabilization of the market in Croatia, where they are now working intensively, the multinational retailer will move to the Serbian market. 

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Brantusa said that for the moment, the company has no time-frame for this – but emphasized that its representatives, including himself, “go to Belgrade and Serbia from time to time to get acquainted with the market.” 

According to him, “plans will certainly be known in the foreseeable future”. 

Asked if the retailer would move in via an acquisition, Brantusa said that the manner in which SPAR arrives in Serbia “would depend on the current situation in the market.” 

Brantus also says that the problems with Agrokor had an indirect influence on SPAR’s decision to come to Serbia since the company saw an opportunity for them in the Serbian market.

“This has absolutely had bearing on SPAR’s decision and the company decided to take the initiative because the situation is right for that. On one hand, we have 20 new stores following the acquisition of Billa so, in the past two years, SPAR has grown from ten stores to 100. On the other hand, as someone that operates in real estate and retail segment, we are looking for an opportunity to use that fact to our advantage”, Brantusa said.

SPAR is one of the world’s largest food retail chains with nearly 16,000 stores in 34 countries and more than 30,000 employees.

When asked whether there was enough room for so many supermarkets in Serbia, following the arrival of Lidl, Brantusa said: “Yes, there is enough room. I know the situation in Slovenia. We had the same situation there when I was 25 years old. Big chains started coming one after the other, but that’s precisely the point – because of the competition, we need to be better for our shoppers”.  

Does that mean that the big chains bring lower prices?

“Yes, lower prices, better service, and a better attitude towards shoppers. This is the economic rationalization of the retail segment. In Slovenia, for example, Lidl and others have done this, and this is also noticed in Croatia. It is highly likely that it will happen in Serbia too,” says Brantusa for B92.

(B92, 25.09.2018)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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