Lidl eyeing entry into Serbia

Lidl eyeing entry into Serbia

Discount retail giant Lidl has confirmed it is looking at possible locations to open its first store in Serbia but has yet finalised where it could enter the market.

Last week, it emerged Schwarz Group, the owner of Lidl and hypermarket chain Kaufland, had secured funding from the International Finance Corporation for further expansion in eastern Europe.

According to the IFC, the investment arm of the World Bank, Schwarz was looking to build its businesses in Bulgaria and Croatia - and enter Serbia. The IFC board had agreed to a loan package worth US$108.4m.

Speaking to just-food, Lidl confirmed its interest in Serbia but said no decisions had been made on where it would open a store.

"Lidl is currently considering various opportunities in several locations around Serbia. Since this is an ongoing process and there have not yet been any firm decisions made, we do not want to provide concrete plans or dates at present," the retailer said.

However, Lidl said it planned to open "at least four more" stores in Bulgaria, where it has 70 outlets in 39 cities.

In Croatia, where Lidl has 84 stores, the retailer is "planning further openings".