BUSINESS SHORT

German retailer Aldi comes to Slovakia

ALDI of Germany, considered the world leader among discount food retailers, plans to enter the Slovak market, the Pravda daily reported on November 25.

Aldi's subsidiary, Hofer, plans to invest Sk180 million (€5.03 million) in a logistics centre in Šoporňa (Trnava region) that will supply its future retail stores in southern and central Slovakia.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2008, with completion envisaged in 2010. "The logistics centre will cover 38 hectares," said Šoporňa Mayor Stanislav Kis.

The distribution centre should create 60 jobs in the first phase, while at the full production the number of employers should increase to 200-300 people working in three shifts.

Aldi has chains in Western Europe, the US, Australia, Poland and Slovenia. The company also plans to open stores in Greece, Hungary and Slovakia.

According to Pravda, the first Aldi store in Slovakia will open in 2009.

"Slovakia still has room for one more large distribution chain. Thanks to the arrival of Aldi, competition among discount retailers in Slovakia on price and the range of goods will increase. In small towns, Aldi will be a strong rival for smaller supermarkets such as Billa and Jednota," said retail market analyst Ľubomír Drahovský.

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