As of this Monday all of the 107 local Plus Discount supermarkets have been rebranded into Lidl stores. The retailer’s expansion process is expected to continue this year as new units are under construction. Lidl is announcing on its local web site that it is interested in buying or renting land in towns with a population of over 30,000 inhabitants in order to open new stores.
Discount supermarket chain Lidl bought the local low-cost chain Plus from German owner Tengelmann in February 2010. Part of the German Lidl & Schwartz Group, which already runs Kaufland stores in Romania, Lidl took over the entire Plus business in Romania and Bulgaria, including all employees. Plus entered the Romanian market in 2005.
In the last couple of years discounters have had a rapid expansion in Romania, reaching a 12 percent market share at the end of 2009, according to data coming from Contrast Management Consulting. Other discounters in Romania are Profi owned by the Enterprise Investors investment fund and Penny Market and Penny Market XXL owned by Rewe Group
Lidl is one of the most aggressive players on the discount segment in Europe. In has a network of about 9,000 store in 20 European countries and it employs 150,000 people. The company previously said it was planning to open its first stores in Romania in 2010.