Montenegro Next Step In Lidl’s Balkan Expansion Strategy

By Branislav Pekic
Share this article
Montenegro Next Step In Lidl’s Balkan Expansion Strategy

Lidl is finding much success in the various markets that comprise the former Yugoslavia, with the discounter currently present in three countries, and undertaking plans to enter three more.


Lidl arrived in Croatia 15 years ago and has expanded its business quite considerably in the years since, closing 2021 with 105 stores, two logistics and distribution centres and a third in the construction phase (Križ).

In recent years, the discounter has been rapidly catching up on market leader Konzum Plus, which is owned by Fortenova Group.

At the end of 2020, according to Fina data, Konzum Plus achieved a turnover of HRK 10 billion (€1.3 billion), followed by Lidl Hrvatska with turnover of HRK 6.1 billion (€811.3 million).

However, Lidl was a leader in profit terms, ending the year with HRK 274.8 million (€36.6 million) in profits.



In neighbouring Serbia, Lidl has also gone from strength to strength. Since opening of 16 stores in October 2018, the retailer’s network now totals 57 stores, of which 11 opened in 2021 alone.

Last May saw Lidl Srbija commence work started on a second logistics and distribution centre in Lapovo, which will extend over an area of 57,000 square metres and enable the company to expand, especially in Central and Southern Serbia.

Over the last three years, Lidl Srbija has also become a popular employer in the country, winning the 'Top Employer Serbia' award for 2021. Significantly, it has managed to attract talent from rival retailers due to its salary and benefits policy.


In Slovenia, Lidl has opened 63 stores since it first debuted on the market, and currently stands among the top five players in the market.


Bosnia and Herzegovina

As previously reported by ESM, Lidl is pressing ahead with plans to expand to Bosnia and Herzegovina, targeting cities and towns with a population of at least 30,000.

It has so far unveiled plans for four outlets (two in Sarajevo and one each in Brcko and Banja Luka) and should initially open at least six supermarkets, probably by the end of 2022.

A first tranche of employees have also been hired, and are currently undergoing training in Croatia and Serbia.


Local portal Investitor recenyly reported that Lidl plans to open at least five stores in Montenegro, over the next five years, employing 1,000 people in the country.


A company associated with Lidl recently submitted a bid to buy 13,200 square metres of land in Podgorica's City Quarter for €3.73 million.

The country’s Minister of Economic Development, Jakov Milatović, also confirmed the arrival of Lidl in Montenegro, noting that the arrival of foreign investors will likely have a "favourable impact on the market.”

The German retailer will arrive in a market that has seen much consolidation over the past five years, as the number of key players has dropped from eight to four: Voli, Laković, Mercator (Idea) and Domaća Trgovina (Aroma Market).

North Macedonia

Last May, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev announced that Lidl plans to invest €300 million to open supermarkets in eight cities in North Macedonia.


He said that the first store will be located in the capital, Skopje, and that a number of other locations are also being finalised. Other cities being mooted include Štip, Tetovo and Ohrid.

In February 2021, Lidl registered a local unit in the country, which is based in Skopje.

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Branislav Pekic. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

Get the week's top grocery retail news

The most important stories from European grocery retail direct to your inbox every Thursday

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

By signing up you are agreeing to our terms & conditions and privacy policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.