Spar has announced its first stores in Kosovo, with three outlets opening in the capital, Prishtina.
In a statement, Spar International announced the establishment of Spar Kosovo, a new entity established by a consortium of retail and wholesale partners.
The group will work alongside Spar International on the development of the Spar banner in the country.
A launch event took place at the group's new opening in Prishtina's Swiss Mall on Wednesday 10 July, with several dignitaries in attendance, including Gerrie Willems, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Kosovo.
As well as the Swiss Mall store, other outlets are located on Taslixhe street, in an upmarket neighbourhood in the north of the city, and on C Street, in an apartment complex in a new housing development in the south of the city.
A further three stores are expected to open before the end of this year, with a further seven stores opening during 2020, in Prishtina and other Kosovan towns.
In the longer term, Spar sees the opportunity to develop 35 stores in the country in the next five years, boasting an estimated 50,000 square metres of retail space.
“We are very excited to see the Spar brand enter this market. It is a reality today that Kosovo, one of the least developed countries in Europe, is joining the family by continuing to become home to the most powerful brands in the world," commented Jeta Rukiqi, chairperson of Spar Kosovo. "With the opening of Spar in our country, Kosovo itself becomes part of Europe. Kosovo today is where it deserves to be.”
Tobias Wasmuht, managing director of Spar International, welcomed the entry of Spar into its 27th European market, saying, "The [Kosovan] market is growing and driven by a consumer demand for Western shopping standards and products. Spar’s local but global approach will deliver international best practice while harnessing local retail expertise."
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.