Polish retailer Żabka opened 577 outlets in the first half of 2022, bringing the total number of stores across its network to 8,500.
Currently, the network includes more than 7,200 franchisees, the Polish retailer noted.
Żabka is opening stores not only in metropolitan areas and large cities, but also in towns below 50,000 inhabitants.
The company recently opened its first stores in several places, including Boguchwałowice in the Silesian province, where the 8,500th store is located.
Boguchwałowice is a village on the Przeczycko-Siewierski Reservoir, about 35 kilometres away from Katowice.
Around 752 people live in Boguchwałowice, which means that it is currently the smallest village in Poland with a Żabka store.
Franchisee Mateusz Karcz is pleased with the location of the store. "A store run in the smallest town in Poland so far is a huge challenge for me, but an even bigger opportunity. I come from a small town and appreciate the great potential of such places, especially in terms of running a store," Karcz stated.
"A small town means trusted and regular customers who build the local community. On the other hand, my store is located on a fairly busy road, a thoroughfare between important cities in the province, in close proximity to a popular lagoon. In this I see a good chance for the success of my Żabka and numerous visits by customers and tourists," he added.
Żabka's portfolio includes various store formats, including, among others, a vending machine in one of the private hospitals in Warsaw.
The chain also operates seasonal stores, with 90 outlets in tourist destinations during vacations.
Mobile Żabka outlets have also popped up in Poland, appearing, among others, at Męskie Grania concerts in eight Polish cities.
The chain's offer is complemented by unmanned autonomous stores, with 50 Żabka Nano outlets in operation, making the retailer the largest autonomous store chain in Europe.
The group is also focussing on technology to improve the work of franchisees.
In the Smart Żabka operating on Półwiejska Street in Poznań, the retailer is testing flood sensors, automatic temperature measurement in the store, measurement of energy consumption, and headphone communication.
These solutions free up franchisees' time, allow them to focus on customer service, and are planet-friendly, the retailer noted.
Żabka is also constantly developing its logistics network and is currently building a modern warehouse outside Warsaw.
It will use renewable, zero-emission energy sources, including photovoltaic panels on the roof and trigeneration units, to achieve 100% self sufficiency in meeting electricity requirements.
In June this year, Żabka entered the next stage of efforts to launch the facility by recruiting employees.
More than 600 people are set to be employed as a result, either working directly for Żabka or in co-operating companies.