The construction of the first local outlet of France's Carrefour, Europe's biggest retailer, is underway on Sofia's Tsarigradsko Shose boulevard, a major traffic artery connecting the city center with the eastward suburbs. Carrefour Bulgaria executive director Xavier Taffet confirmed November 2008 as the launch target for the outlet. The 5.0 ha plot that will be developed by Carrefour will accommodate a hypermarket and a commercial and entertainment complex. The Carrefour hypermarket will have an area of 8,000 sq m while the total area of the commercial center will be 70,000 sq m. Investment is seen at 80 mln euro.
Taffet said Carrefour planned store launches in all Bulgarian cities with over 80,000 residents. A 60,000 sq m complex of 5 office buildings will be built on the plot adjacent to the Carrefour outlet. The 65 mln lev project will be developed by European Commercial Center.
In addition to the upcoming Carrefour launch, the Bulgaria retail market is also preparing for the entry of Germany's Lidl and Plus Discount. Plus Discount has already purchased store sites in some Bulgarian cities while Lidl is still analysing the market. Both companies are recruiting local teams.