Discount Retail Chain stores are great at times of economic downturn, when people are looking for savings. We can see it in the increase in the value of the shopping basket of Action's customers, as well as in the increased interest of the owners and managers of retail facilities in discount tenants, says Sławomir Nitek, CEO of Action Polska, in an interview with dlahandlu.pl. The upward trend on the Polish discount market has been going on for over a decade. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, forecasts for its development were about 7-9% per year until 2022, and now it is 8% by 2024, he adds.
What is the company's situation one year after the outbreak of the pandemic? Is the company's turnover currently lower than a year ago?
The period of the pandemic has been, and continues to be, difficult for the commercial industry. I will not hide that the epidemic situation and related restrictions also affected our company. The results for 2020 are not record-breaking, but still satisfactory for us.
I would like to emphasize that last year we entered the provinces in which the Action brand was absent so far West Pomeranian, Kuyavian-Pomeranian and Świętokrzyskie, as well as Warsaw. We also celebrated the opening of the 100th store in Poland. We have significantly expanded our network in the central part of the country and strengthened it in the south. We have opened a total of 44 stores on the Polish market and expanded the team by over 500 employees. This is a great success considering the difficult economic conditions.
What are the company's plans to open new brick-and-mortar stores? How many such stores can be launched this year?
We intend to maintain at least the same pace of development as last year. Of course, everything will depend on the further development of the epidemic situation and introduced restrictions. At the moment, I can say that we are planning further expansion towards the north of Poland, increasing our presence in large agglomerations, entering new markets and strengthening our presence in the southern and central part of the country.
Already in the first quarter of this year, we opened the first store in Krakow and others in Katowice and Poznań. We also introduced the Action brand to such important regional cities as Konin or Bielsko-Biała, and with the opening in Nowy Targ, we entered Podhale. Soon we will start operations in Gdańsk, it will be our first location in the Pomeranian Voivodeship. We will keep you updated on new stores.
What locations will be taken into account when opening new stores? Will they still be shopping centers and retail parks?
When looking for locations for Action stores, we take into account various formats, both shopping centers and retail parks, as well as free-standing facilities, on large streets and in housing estates. We make decisions based on the economic potential of a given place and its accessibility to consumers.