An advertising slogan has prompted a feud between retailers Mercator and Tuš, after the latter began calling itself the 'biggest Slovenian retailer' following the sale of Mercator to Croatian food group Agrokor last year.
Celje-based Tuš has withdrawn from Slovenia’s chamber of advertising agencies because the association gave right to Mercator in its dispute who is the biggest retailer in the country.
Mercator initiated the dispute, after Tuš represented itself in advertising as "the largest Slovenian trade", although Mercator has a higher turnover and more stores.
Tuš claims that Mercator is not Slovenian, because its owner is Croatian company Agrokor. For its part, Mercator argues that it is a Slovenian company, both in terms of headquarters and employees (more than 12,000), and that is registered under Slovenian law.
Additionally, it points out that it is the market leader in Slovenia, with a one third market share.
However, at Tuš they counterclaim by stating that consumers consider as Slovenian companies those that are locally owned, as otherwise even Microsoft, which is registered in Slovenia, could be called the most profitable Slovenian company.
Separately, a local agrarian economist has warned that Mercator might be threading in dangerous territory with fast-paced switching of own brand suppliers and moving away from Slovenian providers.
However, Mercator board member, Igor Maroša, said that despite last year's takeover by Croatia's Agrokor, Mercator has retained the status of a retailer with the biggest share of Slovenian products on its shelves.
© 2015 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic