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Slovenia's Mercator among host of retailers primed to enter Bulgarian market

SloveniaThe brief lull on the Bulgarian retail market has come to an end with a bevy of new players announcing concrete plans for start of their local operations. Market sources said Slovenian retailer Mercator has already picked the locations for its first outlets in Bulgaria. The company itself is still keeping mum on its plans for the local market. The sources said Mercator has leased retail space in the Galeria shopping malls being developed by Poland's GTC in Stara Zagora and Burgas.

The two shopping centers are due to open in June 2009 and mid-2009, respectively. Mercator is also expected to be a tenant in the retail park that local company K&K Electronics is building on the Vladimir Vazov boulevard in Sofia. The companies have already established a successful partnership on the neighboring Serbian market where the Bulgarian company has retail operations under the Technomarket brand.

After announcing they were preparing to set foot on the local market, German discount retailers Penny Market and Lidl spent quite a while searching for adequately priced locations. The two companies confirmed their plans were now back on track. Lidl said it was about to start over the next 3-4 months the construction of its first local outlets in regional cities.

Penny Market Bulgaria was registered in 2004 and has since been shopping around for suitable store sites. The company has been recruiting staff for its local operations over the last couple of months and intends to open for business as soon as this year. This information was confirmed off the record by the retailer.

Austrian retailer Spar will enter the Bulgarian market with its Hervis chain of sports gear shops. The spokesperson of the company confirmed local retail operations will begin by the end of 2008. Hervis competitor Intersport is already an established player on the Bulgarian market. Spar said it was interested in bringing its other retail brands to Bulgaria and the region but had no concrete expansion plans as of yet.

25 April 2008 - Dnevnik

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