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Lidl Takes Over Plus In Bulgaria And Romania

The German Tengelmann Group has decided to sell the Plus stores it operates in Bulgaria and Romania to Lidl, Bulgarian media reported on February 21 2010. The sum of the deal has not been disclosed. Plus operates 23 stores with more than 820 staff in Bulgaria, while its Romanian operation consists of 96 stores with more than 2000 staff.

Lidl still does not have an official operation in Bulgaria. Apparently it had been considering launching a foothold in the country for some time but the global economic crisis derailed the process, at least temporarily. Lidl is preparing the "test" store in Lovech as well as - possibly - one in Pazardjik and a logistical base near Sofia. Additionally, there is a plan for a store in Rousse on the border with Romania. According to Dnevnik daily, all 3000 staff in Bulgaria and Romania will be "taken over and managed by Lidl".

Plus entered the market in Bulgaria with the first batch of stores, six in all, opened in Sevlievo, Harmanli, Pernik, Silistra and Gorna Oriahovitsa. The company then said this was only the launching pad of their extension campaign in the country with 25 stores planned for the end of 2009 and 50 by the end of 2010, Dnevnik daily reported on November 16.

In November 2009, another German diversified discount retail chain, Penny Market, opened its first batch of 14 stores in Bulgaria. The Lidl logistics centre and administrative base is said to be a "spacious and modern logistics and administrative base", a project which will cost a total of 25 million euro. The facility will cover 138 000 sq m in Ravno Pole, Elin Pelin municipality. Once it is complete, it will serve as the general headquarters of Lidl in Bulgaria, "serving, co-ordinating, administering and distributing all Lidl needs in the country", Dnevnik daily said.