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Retail

Discounter Svetofor Plans 22 More Stores In Serbia

Russian discounter Svetofor is planning to open 22 more stores in Serbia – a market in which it already operates 18 outlets – by the end of 2023.

A Svetofor spokesperson told Serbian monthly Nova Ekonomija that the current crisis in Ukraine “is not particularly affecting plans” to expand its store count in the country.

The same sourced added that, in logistics, it is “not experiencing serious problems” and/or changes that could affect its activities.

Svetofor is part of the Russian Torgservis group, which operates in Serbia with two independent companies Beltorg (Svetofor markets) and Ros Produkt Servis of Belgrade (Mere markets).

Latest Store Openings

In February, the group opened its latest tranche of stores in Serbia – in Belgrade, Cacak, Kikinda and Trstenik – ‘[which are] showing good consumer response and demand,’ according to Svetofor.

The discount stores cover almost all areas of Serbia, and the new openings will mostly be concentrated in big cities where Svetofor has no presence yet, as well as in Belgrade.

Svetofor cites ‘direct work with suppliers, strict cost control, and spartan design of retail space’ as its main advantages over competition.

The discount stores offer a wide range of food products, industrial goods and household products, reportedly available at prices that are 20% to 30% cheaper than the market average, due to the low margins on which the group operates.

Growing The Network

Svetofor commenced operations in Serbia in February 2021, with the opening of the first two stores, in Subotica and Kruševac.

During its first year of operations, the network reached 20 outlets, but two had to be closed, as one was damaged due to a fire and the second was not profitable.

The Russian discounter ended 2021 with a turnover of RSD 2.5 billion (€255 million) from its Serbian operations.

At the same time, however, Svetofor is pulling out of other European markets, including the UK, where it had previously outlined plans to open as many as 300 stores.

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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