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Slovenia Business Week no. 50/2004: Mercator Opens EUR 24M Mall in Osijek

Addressing the opening ceremony, Mercator CEO Zoran Jankovic said the company would like to increase its market share in Croatia from 3 to 10% over the next few years, thus becoming the country's top retailer

The leading Slovenian grocer opened a Mercator shopping mall in the Croatian city of Osijek on Thursday, 2 December in an investment worth nearly EUR 24m. Addressing the opening ceremony, Mercator CEO Zoran Jankovic said the company would like to increase its market share in Croatia from 3 to 10% over the next few years, thus becoming the country's top retailer.

According to its boss, Mercator generates some 12 percent of revenues on the emerging markets, and is aspiring to become a leader in Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The retailer expects this year's overall revenues to top EUR 1.6bn.

Jankovic also announced expansion to other markets. Next year Mercator is expected to purchase lands in Macedonia's capital of Skopje and Bulgaria's Sophia, while later the company also plans to enter the markets of Romania, Moldova and possibly Ukraine.

Mercator is set primarily on increasing its market share in Croatia, where it has currently 81 stores and shopping centres, among them big malls in Zagreb, Pula, Split and since 2 December also in Osijek.

Mercator Croatia currently employs 1,470 workers, a number which is to increase to 1,600 with new centres to be opened next year.

The Osijek facility stretches over 16,000 square metres. Apart from the Mercator hypermarket, it houses a further 27 shops.

Asked why the number of Slovenian-made products on Mercator store shelves has substantially decreased, Jankovic said a drop in sales of Slovenian goods resulted from EU entry, which made some Slovenian products dearer.

There is also the silent boycott of Slovenian-made products, Jankovic said, referring to a civil initiative calling on Croatian consumers not to buy Slovenian goods. Jankovic said the figures on drop in the sales of Slovenian goods would be available at the end of the year.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA