In a recent press interview, the president of Carrefour Marinopoulos, Jérome Loubère, has indicated that the retailer plans to invest at least EUR200 million (USD27.6 million) in opening 20 hypermarkets in Bulgaria in the next five to seven years, targeting a 20% market share. The company expects to open its first Bulgarian hypermarket in the Black Sea port city of Burgas at the end of next year.
According to Mr Loubère, the hypermarkets will open either in shopping malls or as standalone units. "We see today a lot of interest for malls in Bulgaria because of the retail organisation. Bulgaria today has a lot of small shops so there is a huge interest in malls," Loubère said, adding that at least half of the planned hypermarkets will be located in malls. The company plans to open shopping malls in the country's largest cities, including the capital Sofia, the cities of Burgas, Varna, Plovdiv, Ruse and Stara Zagora, while in the smaller towns it will build separate hypermarkets.
The company expects to open its first Bulgarian hypermarket in the Black Sea port city of Burgas at the end of next year. Carrefour has also kicked off work on its first multi-purpose mall and office centre in Bulgaria which will be built in the outskirts of Sofia and will have a total built up area of over 240,000 square metres. The facility, named Carrefour Tsarigradsko Mall, will feature a three-level underground parking lot, 200 shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities. It is scheduled to become operational in the first half of 2009. Mr Loubère said that the group expects to generate between EUR20 million (USD27.7 million) to EUR50 million (USD69.4 million) in annual sales per store and added that total sales will depend on the number of stores opened in the next five to seven years. "If we have four-five stores opened it would be four-five times this number."