Russian discount chain Svetofor will commence operations in Serbia from January, with initial plans to open 15 stores.
The company, which trades in Western Europe under the MERE banner, will open stores in Batajnica, Kruševac and Subotica by mid-January at the latest.
These will be followed by Kraljevo and Vršac in February, with a total of 15 stores being opened by the end of April and the beginning of May.
The news was announced to Serbian daily Večernje Novosti by the Minister of Trade, Tatjana Matić.
According to Matić, the fact that one of the largest discount chains in Russia is coming to Serbia is "another confirmation that our retail market is among the most promising in the region”. She added that this will increase competition in the retail market and contribute to the modernisation of the trade network.
According to initial plans revealed by the retailer, the plan is to open at least 100 supermarkets in Serbia with an average area of 1,000 square meters. The plan is to offer products with prices that are 20% lower than average and to work directly with producers, with strict quality control and a low trading margin.
Svetofor is one of the largest Russian discount chains, with more than 2,500 stores in Russia, Belarus and Central Asia.
In EU countries, the company operates under the MERE brand, which uses the slogan 'only the lowest prices every day'. MERE discount stores are present in Romania, Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, with plans to expand to Bulgaria, Italy, Spain and Greece.
© 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