Central & Eastern Europe: Key retail developments in Q3

Date : 14 October 2016

In this update, we look at what has happened at retailers across the region in the third quarter of 2016, including market entries & acquisitions, new store concepts, online & technology developments, loyalty enhancements and new appointments.


  • Albania –  SPAR has opened its first stores in the country in partnership with Balfin Group, making Albania the 44th country with a SPAR brand.
  • Hungary – MOL Group, which operates 47 Hungarian petrol stations, is to acquire 173 Hungarian Agip petrol stations. MOL is also a leading forecourt operator in Croatia and Slovakia.
  • BulgariaMaxima has acquired REWE's 12 Penny stores as the retailer exits the market. As a result of the acquisition, Maxima will grow its Bulgarian store count from 48 to 60 stores.


  • RussiaDixy Group has opened its first compact supermarket in Kaliningrad. There are around 20 of these stores, with the new store offering around seven thousand products, many of which are sourced locally.
  • PolandZabka is reportedly trialling a city-focused convenience format in Warsaw, offering an extended range and updated store design.
  • SloveniaMercator has opened a new concept hypermarket, Mercator Šiška following extensive refurbishment. Among other features, the store offers a new-look beer and wine department, a Sanatura herbal store and a domestic department showcasing products from local producers and rural areas.
  • Serbia – Univerexport has introduced the ‘PriroDa’ store-in-store concept, stocking 1,000 products, 50% of which are food items.
  • UkraineFozzy is trialling a new discount concept, which it has launched in six Ukrainian cities. These stores stock around 1,500 products, while entry-level and premium private label products are also available.


Auchan to launch online in Hungary…

  • CEO Dominique Ducoux has revealed that the retailer is to launch e-commerce in 2016.

…As Tesco scales back online in Poland

  • Tesco Poland has reduced the number of cities where it offers an e-commerce service to 17 metropolitan areas through 24 hypermarkets, resulting in the planned suspension of e-commerce in Wałbrzychu and Jeleniej Górze, south-western Poland.

Elsewhere in the region…

  • Tesco is rolling out Scan & Shop across Central Europe following successful trials in Hungary.
  • RomaniaKaufland has introduced a Scan & Pay app, allowing shoppers to scan as they shop and pay for purchases at a dedicated checkout.


  • Russia – X5 has launched a dedicated mobile loyalty app for its Perekrestok banner. Shoppers can collect and redeem points through the app, which also offers personalised promotions and priority access to promotions.
  • Croatia – Konzum has launched exclusive prices as an additional benefit of its MultiPlusCard loyalty programme. This will see a price reduction of up to 40% in 1,000 premium products across a variety of fresh and ambient categories.



  • X5 has appointed Dmitry Gimmelberg as CFO and Maksym Gatsuts as CEO of the Karusel format. Gimmelberg has held senior positions with a variety of businesses, while Gatsuts previously worked for METRO Group in several markets.
  • O’Key has appointed Milina Sevcikova Mikulova has Private Label Commercial Director.

Elsewhere in the region…

  • Poland – Lidl has appointed Aleksandra Szywilewska as Director of Marketing for Lidl Poland. Szywilewska has worked for Lidl since 2012 and has ten years marketing experience.


  • Poland – The government has suspended its newly introduced retail tax following an EU probe, which suggested that this tax gives Polish companies an unfair advantage over their competitors, breaching EU state aid rules.
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina – The government has moved to amend its Law on Internal Trade, removing the requirement for retailers to source 50% of food products from domestic manufacturers. The law originally came into effect in 2011 on stores over 1,000 sq. m.

IGD in CEE in Q4 2016

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This article was written by Harriet Cohen, Senior Retail Analyst in IGD's international research team. Harriet contributes to IGD's European research programme, regularly travelling to markets in the region, visiting stores and engaging with retailers and manufacturers. To learn more about how IGD's research can benefit your business further, please get in touch. 

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