Tesco might quit Slovakia

BRITISH retail chain Tesco is pondering quitting Slovakia after 19 years and selling 155 outlets, 18 filling stations and two big distribution stores, the Sme daily wrote.

Tesco in ZvolenTesco in Zvolen (Source: Sme)

“So far nothing has been decided,” a British investor informed about Tesco’s recovery plan, as quoted by the Sme daily in its March 2 issue. The retail chain is openly re-considering business plans in central and eastern Europe - also in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland due to the situation on the British market where it is under pressure from discount supermarket chains Lidl and Aldi. Tesco also has to cope with the burden of failed expansion to the US and Japan.

A possibility still exists that Tesco stays and considerably slims down its retail chain.

Analyst Ľubomír Drahovský opined for the daily that if Tesco decides not to leave Slovakia it will probably only close loss-making outlets.

Slovak activities of Tesco can be sold in a package together with Hungary, the Czech Republic and maybe Poland,” an unnamed British investor familiar with the chain’s recovery plan told Sme. The second scenario is the sale of whole chains in individual countries.

Tesco managers are expected to first officially discuss the recovery plans in the upcoming weeks, when recent fiscal results will be published.

Tesco arrived to Slovakia in 1996 when it bought seven department stores from US retail chain K-Mart. So far, the Britons have not commented on the news, only reacting by saying that it is widely known that they are re-considering their business plan. 

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