Dutch discount retail chain Action lures with ‘treasure hunt’ experience

Six Action stores already open, more in pipeline, firm says.

Action store in Zvolen, central Slovakia.Action store in Zvolen, central Slovakia. (Source: Courtesy of Action)

Dutch discount retail chain Action has continued to expand in Slovakia since opening its first store in the country in early March.

Having opened stores in Bratislava, its first store in central Slovakia followed in mid-March. The fourth one opened in Topoľčany in mid May. Two more, in Martin and Trnava, followed in late May.

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“Especially in these difficult times, we believe that our concept of low prices will make us an interesting option for Slovak customers,” Petr Juliš, CEO of Action in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, told Tovar & Predaj magazine.

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The first store the chain opened in the Slovak capital was in the Danubia shopping centre in Petržalka. Covering 1,000 square metres, it offers 6,000 products in 14 categories, ranging from toys and tools to gardening supplies to DIY and preserved food.

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“This [store opening] is an important step in our further expansion,” said Juliš. “Gradually, we want to grow to all corners of the country.”

The second, opened soon after, is in the Zlaté Piesky shopping centre on the outskirts of Bratislava.

The third store is located in the Klokan shopping centre in Zvolen.

“The first three Action stores in Slovakia have been very successful, which is why we are continuing our planned expansion across the country,” said Juliš during the opening of the fourth store in Topoľčany.

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The retail chain plans to open stores in other cities including Spišská Nová in the coming months.

But it has not specified how many it plans to open in Slovakia this year.

“I can’t say how many stores we will open this year because we don’t know. Permit processes are ongoing,” Juliš told the Obchod magazine.

Initial numbers will also provide a lot of information about potential future growth, while the group is not worried about being in a tightly-contested market, having confidence their concept.

Action’s product range and prices put it in competition with retail chains like Kik and Pepco. Juliš sees Action’s point of difference in its wide product range, of which up to a tenth changes every month.

“So of course, the customer comes in to look at basic necessities, but they also arrive for ‘treasure hunts’,” Juliš told the magazine. “They want to be surprised.”

Action is not entirely new to Slovakia: in 2021, the chain opened a 50,000-square-metre distribution centre in Ivanka pri Dunaji near Bratislava from where it supplies Austrian, German stores and, now, Slovak outlets.

Slovakia is the 11th country in which Action, which claims to be the fastest growing non-food discount chain in Europe, operates. It has more than 2,200 stores across Europe, including in neighbouring Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

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