Kaufland opens first two stores in Moldova

Date : 02 October 2019

Kaufland has entered another market, by opening two stores in the Moldovan capital city, Chisinau, in September 2019. This has been a three-year process for the retailer after it began investigating opportunities to enter the market in 2016. Kaufland has invested €60m in the country so far.

Kaufland plans to open to 15 stores nationwide

The retailer is ready to open a third store, with plans to reach six in Chisinau. The city has a population of more than 600,000 and accounts for around 20% of the country’s population. Residents have comparatively high incomes, versus the rest of the country, which will make it Kaufland Moldova’s core source of revenue.

Nine more stores will open outside the capital in 2020 and 2021, most likely in areas with 30,000 inhabitants or more. Initially, Kaufland will open them in Moldova’s largest cities Tiraspol, Bal?i and Bender, each of which are home to around 100,000 inhabitants.

Stores in line with Kaufland store concept

The two hypermarkets vary in size, with the Decebal store at 4,600 sq. m bigger than the average, and the one in Mircea cel Batrân at 3,000 sq. m slightly smaller. The store layout and design follow the retailer’s standard features, which have been rolled out in other markets. This includes a food service unit outside the store, concessions near the entrance and fresh food placed at the front of the store to attract footfall.

Source: Kaufland Moldova

Green retailing remains a strategic priority

The Moldovan stores are in line with one of Kaufland’s business priorities: to build environmentally conscious and cost-efficient operations. Both stores have heated, smart eco systems that recover heat from windows and cold rooms. Shoppers will be encouraged to recycle by providing them with automated recycling units, which provide rewards, through vouchers, that they can spend in store.

Stores supplied from Kaufland Romania, for now

To support the entry and launch of the operation in Moldova, Kaufland built a third distribution centre in eastern Romania, in the region of Moldova. This is intended to provide the dual benefit of supporting the network’s growth in eastern Romania and its entry into Moldova. Goods procurement for Kaufland’s stores in Moldova are arranged via the Romania office, as currently there is no fully-fledged in-country procurement office.

Ranging will become more local over time

Although the stores’ assortment stands at 3,200 Moldovan-sourced SKUs, in categories such as bakery, pork, chilled chicken and fresh fish. The stores will develop their local sourcing credentials after a procurement team is established locally. For now, its range will overlap with Kaufland Romania’s by offering a selection of Vreua din Romania (I want from Romania) food and Cultura Vinia wines.

Subscribers wanting to find out more about retailer’s strategic priorities can look at Strategic outlook for Kaufland.