Norwegian discount stores Rema 1000, Rimi and Coop Prix are to open many more discount stores in Norway in 2003.

Rema 1000, which currently operates 356 stores, plans to open 23 supermarkets in 2003. Rimi, owned by Nordic retailer ICA Ahold, plans to open 20 supermarkets. Norwegian chain Coop Prix plans to add 20 new stores in 2003 to its current portfolio of 330.

The chains are responding to the need to compete with German discount chain Lidl, which is to open its first store in Norway in July 2003, reported the Norwegian news Digest.

Despite media reports to the contrary, ICA Ahold has said it is not planning to terminate its Rimi chain. It will however re-brand its 130 Swedish Rimi stores as ICA, and in connection with the re-branding about three stores would be closed. Rimi would continue under its current name in Norway, reported the Nordic Business Report.

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