Germany’s Aldi arrives on Romanian market
German-based company Aldi, the world’s tenth-largest retailer, which boasts a global turnover in excess of €39 billion ($53.6 billion), has entered the Romanian market by setting up a firm that is entirely controlled by an Austrian subsidiary of the group, Hofer.
Market sources maintain that the German retailer is looking at the Romanian market for future expansion, however the entrance project remains in the early stages of development. The new Bucharest-based Aldi Stores company headquarters, in which Hofer (Austria) holds 100% of the share capital, was legally registered approximately one month ago. As a result of the recent move, the Aldi company joins its main international rival on the Romanian market, Germany’s retailer Lidl, which plans to carry out investments worth approximately €150 million ($206 million) in a network of more than 100 stores by 2011, according to market sources. Lidl is likely to open its first unit within the next two years.
Aldi’s move comes amid the aggressive expansion of discount retailers within the past two years. Practically, discount stores boasted the fastest network expansion rate last year and doubled their number of units to 112 at the end of 2006. Discount retailers also plan to double their store numbers again this year. Almost all major international players, such as Tengelmann (Plus Discount), Lidl&Schwarz (Kaufland), Louis Delhaize (Profi) and Rewe (Penny Market) are currently present on the Romanian discount segment. The first to enter the market were Louis Delhaize and Rewe Group, in 2000 and 2001 respectively.
Regionally, Aldi has also set its sights on Hungary, where it plans to open its first stores next year, whilst the company has already started building a logistic centre near Budapest, in line with information released by the Hungarian press. The stores will be located in the main Hungarian cities and the network is likely to include more than 400 units in the long term. This year, the German network also entered Poland, where it intends to open 20-30 stores in its first stage of development. The German retailer’s development plans for Poland are similar to those for Hungary. (freshplaza.com)
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