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Romania: Discounter Profi launches smaller franchise City format in Romania

Discount Retail Chain Profi (owned by Polish Enterprise Fund) recently inaugurated a new store format in Romania, a small-format urban store type under the name Profi City, and plans to continue expansion with this format by offering a franchise option. The first such stores were opened in Cluj, Napoca, where Profi had bought five supermarkets from Alimrom, and re-branded them as Profi City. “Tradesmen who wish to run their own business but do not have the money and all the right knowledge to do so will get support from Profi that, in turn, for the success of the business, will benefit from their experience and commercial skills,” said Profi Rom Food General Manager Pawel Musial.

Unlike the standard Profi stores, those in the City category will have a more restricted, yet better adapted range of products to meet the needs of proximity clients. “Just the same, in proportion with the size of their sales area, the number of employees of such stores will be smaller, approximately 12 people, often relatives, will give the stores more of a family-feel,” according to the retailer. Profi's move is similar to Metro's neighborhood stores LaDoiPasi and comes after a neighborhood shop operator, which was also running under franchise, Dinu Patriciu's went bankrupt.

Crunching the numbers: Can Ovechkin catch Gretzky? With these openings, Profi's network grew to 162 stores in 88 localities in 36 counties, becoming the the second largest network on the modern retail market in Romania, according to the company. According to previous information, Profi plans to invest some EUR 18 million in expansion projects in 2013 in Romania, including inauguration of new stores and potential acquisitions of other retail chains on the local market. This is Profi’s third acquisition in Romania so far, after buying Albinuta in 2007 and Alcomsib in Sibiu in 2012.

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