Discount giant Aldi to exit Greek market

Posted by Josette Dunn on 19th July 2010

Discount grocery retailer Aldi is withdrawing from Greece, it was confirmed on Firday (16 July).


The German retailer plans to dispose of 38 outlets in Greece and is currently in talks to sell the stores. The market exit is the first in the company’s history.

Planet Retail analyst Milos Ryba said: “Aldi has had problems from the beginning. It could not find reasonably priced plots. It was opening stores close to Schwarz Group’s Lidl but was not able to compete on price.”

Ryba said that Aldi did not achieve its expansion targets, missing plans to operate 100 stores by 2009, ending up with only 40.

Ryba added that Aldi did not fulfil price expectations, as many German expatriates view Aldi as a price leader but this was not the case in Greece.

The retailer also had problems with its upper management in the country, as the venture into Greece proceeded under Armin Burger and Konstantinos Rozos, two top executives with Aldi Süd. However both managers unexpectedly left the company last autumn.

Aldi said it plans to focus its energies on developing in the nine other markets it operates in, including the UK, Ireland, the US and Australia.

Ryba claimed he would not be surprised if Aldi withdraws from Poland as its expansion is slow in the country and competition in the discount sector is stronger than that in Greece.

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