SPAR shows interest for Serbian retail chains

Date: 28/09/2018 Comments: 0
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SPAR shows interest for Serbian retail chains

Dutch supermarket chain SPAR will enter the Serbian market by acquiring local chain Mercator S, according to Vecernje Novosti publication.

This option, allegedly, was circulating since the onset of the crisis in Agrokor, but it was abandoned due to the big problems that the Croatian giant, which manages Mercator S that consists of Idea and Roda, has been suffering from.

However, since both the European HQ of Sberbank, which is the owner of Agrokor is in Vienna, just as SPAR’s seat for Central and Eastern Europe, it is very likely that negotiations are underway for Agrokor’s retail business in Serbia to be handed over to SPAR.

The source of the Vecernje Novosti claims that Sberbank has no interest in “stacking supermarket shelves” in Serbia, so it will most likely come to the final agreement with SPAR. The Dutch retailer usually enters new markets via acquisitions unlike their competitors, Lidl which is more in favour of greenfield investments.

Bostjan Brantusa, SPAR’s expansion and development manager, confirmed for 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.

The SPAR supermarket chain was founded in the Netherlands in 1932. Their international development started in 1947 when they opened their first store in Belgium. Today, they have close to 16,000 shops in 34 countries. SPAR is the largest supermarket chain in Austria, where a branch for Central and Eastern Europe was established in 2007, based in Vienna.


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