One store, in the Malinova Dolina district, was converted from a supermarket into a shopping centre, with a total floor area of 9,000 square metres, making it one of the group's top three largest stores.
As well as boasting a supermarket with more than 40,000 SKUs, the new look site now also includes a bookstore, a toy store, an optical store, a pharmacy, a pet shop, dry cleaning, an insurance broker, a money transfer service and a courier service.
The second major renovation project, which opened recently, is located in the Mladost 4 neighbourhood of the Bulgarian capital, and was completed in 230 days, Fantastico Group said.
The renovated outlet features a larger sales hall, with a wider array of products, as well a a children's playground.
Elsewhere, 12 photovoltaic systems were developed by Fantastico Group last year, boasting a capacity of 1,600 kWp, and the company is seeking to generate 1,800 MWh of its own green electricity during 2023.
The photovoltaic systems will provide close to 10% of the electricity needs for its supermarkets, and are located on the roofs of selected stores.
Through this investment, Fantastico Group says it will be able to achieve a reduction in CO2 of around 900 tonnes per year, or 1,700 tonnes per year if other energy-saving measures are considered.
It follows on from an announcement the group made at the start of 2022.
Bread For Life
Lastly, in 2023, Fantastico Group launched a new bakery brand – Bread For Life – with the first bakery commencing trading in September of last year.
Previously, the group relied on an external operator to run the bakeries at its stores, and now this process has been taken in-house, with bread and pastry products prepared in front of customers.
“For me, the most important thing in the production of bread is love and the desire to learn – because in bakery and confectionery you can always learn something," commented Vanya Popova, chief technologist at Fantastico's bakery department.