A strong market performance in Croatia and Serbia has prompted Lidl to expand its activities in the Balkans, with the discounter planning its entry into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to German retail trade publication Lebensmittel Zeitung, the discounter's first stores in Bosnia and Herzegovina are set to open as early as 2022, although Schwarz Group has not yet confirmed the exact date.
Initially, Lidl is likely to concentrate its expansion on municipalities with at least 30,000 inhabitants, which means that branches could be opened in 30 cities, with larger cities such as Sarajevo also offering the potential for more stores in the future.
Lidl launched in Serbia in September 2018 and its stores there are among the most successful in its entire network, recording a turnover of up to €250,000 per week, compared to an average of just under €140,000 for its German outlets
Its Serbian network includes 43 stores, following the opening of two new outlets (in Zaječar and Zrenjanin) earlier this month.
In neighbouring Croatia, Lidl has been present since 2006 where it operates 102 stores. It has recorded strong growth rates in recent years and is rapidly catching up on market leader Konzum, part of Fortenova Group.
The retailer has particularly benefitted from holidaymakers visiting Croatia, with stores in tourist locations among its strongest performers.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine