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Retail

Croatia's Studenac Acquires Istrian Retailer La-Vor

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Croatia's Studenac Acquires Istrian Retailer La-Vor

Croatian retailer Studenac has announced the acquisition of La-Vor, a proximity retail chain on the Istrian peninsula.

Headquartered in the town of Buzet, La-Vor operates 16 stores and has more than 200 employees.

The acquisition, which was announced on 29 December, was Studenac's third of 2023, and puts the retailer on track to achieve its target market share of 10% in Croatia by 2025, it said in a statement.

Brand Recognition

“It’s great to be doing another acquisition in Istria, which is where we started our nationwide expansion back in 2019 with the purchase of Istarski Supermarketi,” commented Studenac board president Michał Seńczuk.

“La-Vor is a very well-managed business, with very high sales per square metre and strong brand recognition in the region. They’re a great fit with our proximity retail model, because just like us, they concentrate on building customer loyalty by providing high-quality products in neighbourhood shops.”

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Expanding Chain

Studenac closed 2023 with 1,269 outlets, seeing sales up 30% for the year, as a result of both organic expansion and acquisitions.

The group has tripled its network since it was acquired five years ago by private equity fund Enterprise Investors. Other acquisitions in 2023 included the takeovers of Croatian operators Strahinjčica and Špar.

'Studenac’s integration strategy centers on understanding the target company’s organisational culture and crafting a comprehensive plan of alignment, a process that can take up to 12 months,' the company said in a statement. 'Employees of La-Vor will keep the benefits they already enjoy and are entitled to new ones available to Studenac employees.'

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