Kaufland is opening a seasonal store in a health resort in Romania, Progresiv magazine has reported. The Schwarz Group-owned big box retailer will offer a range of groceries including fruit & vegetables, bakery goods, pantry food, confectionery, beverages and drugstore items from a tent in a car park in Sovata. The pop up store will be open during the summer season, until 17 September.
The site has a sales area of 1,350 square metres and provides 92 car parking spaces. It adds to Kaufland’s 115 permanent stores across the country. As LZ Retailytics data shows, Schwarz Group – consisting of Kaufland and Lidl – is the largest retailer in Romania, with a market share that is approximately double that of the number two in the market, Carrefour.
Schwarz Group’s incessant efforts to further extend its position in all of its 27 markets are admirable. No market is too tough (except Norway maybe), no region too small, not to be favoured with a Kaufland or Lidl store. Sometimes this bustling work is being soothed with loans from the EBRD, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to support expansion of the private company in “small and medium sized towns”.
Sovata has only 10,000 inhabitants, obviously not enough to justify a full Kaufland, but during summer time far more shoppers can be expected in Sovata, which is described (by its mayor) as an “internationally known health-resort and holiday destination”. The next nearest Kaufland is 35 kilometres away; and there is no Lidl, no Carrefour, no Auchan in town, just a Rewe Group owned Penny discounter. This is reason enough for Schwarz Group to want to be there to troll for new customers.
Going where the shoppers are; and going where new potential customers go, has always been a successful strategy for Schwarz Group, especially Kaufland’s sister, Lidl. Lidl is present in all European holiday destinations along the Mediterranean coast. This is where it can easily convert sceptical holiday makers: with their trusted Tesco or Ica missing, they feel free and curious enough to try something new; and often enough find out that it’s not that bad at all. (Some knew before, but didn't want to be seen going there.) “Lidl On Holiday” has become a separate international search feature on the discounter’s country websites.
In a mobile, international society, ubiquity and recognisability form the USP of Schwarz Group’s brands – granted, Lidl more so than Kaufland. Where it cannot settle down permanently, it will just put up a tent.