Kaufland is part of Schwarz group, one of the leading retailers in Europe. In 2021, Kaufland celebrates 15 years of presence in Bulgaria. It operates 60 stores in 34 cities where nearly 6 million people do their shopping every month. With a team of over 6,000 employees Kaufland is among the biggest employers in the country. The company’s investments in Bulgaria so far exceed 1.6 billion levs.
Kaufland Bulgaria retains its position as the country’s top retailer in terms of turnover in this year’s edition of SEE TOP 100. What are your expectations regarding your financial performance in 2021 and market share and what are the main factors that will impact them?
It’s too early for a forecast, as we need to take into consideration how the whole economy will react to the ongoing pandemic. Overall, my expectations are for a rather volatile year, but still I believe that our company will remain stable. We are flexible and we can react to even the most challenging situations. In the retail sector, we have a stable base and coping mechanisms.
What is the volume of your planned investments in 2021 and 2022 and what are the key areas to which they will be allocated?
We will continue to actively invest in the overall development of the Kaufland brand as one synonymous with quality and innovation on the retail market. Significant investments are planned in our active expansion process which is underway. We plan to expand our retail network in Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv and other cities. We will continue to invest in the modernisation of our hypermarkets, as well. We remain focused on the range of products we offer – Bulgarian products, with an even stronger emphasis on quality, as well as non-standard, innovative and niche products. We will further invest in our team and its development. Our people have the key role in the overall performance of our company and the results we achieve.
Corporate and social responsibility and environment protection have been playing an increasing role in your business over the past years. In what areas are you focusing your efforts?
Kaufland Bulgaria’s net contribution to Bulgarian society is positive and amounts to more than 1 billion levs.* Our sustainable development policy is part of our business strategy. We consider our activities comprehensively with attention not only to the economic added value creation, but also with a view to our impact on nature and social environment. Under the motto, Our actions do the talking, we work in three key areas. They are related to the nature of our business and its impact and therefore we focus our efforts there. In the Homeland area, we are actively developing partnerships with Bulgarian producers, developing our donation policy, as well as corporate volunteering. In the Nutrition area, we focus on active lifestyles and sustainable consumption. In Nature, we are strongly focused on energy efficiency, e-mobility, green logistics, as well as on limiting single-use plastics.
What are the main trends on the Bulgarian market and how are the affecting your operations?
Bulgarian consumers are becoming more and more demanding in terms of product range. They are looking for more than quality and freshness. They insist on super quality and super fresh goods. They expect to be surprised by new products and innovations not only regarding food, but non-food products, as well. At Kaufland, we strive not only to meet market demand but to act pro-actively. That is how we manage to meet customer expectations regarding product range development, communication, product display in our stores, and product and service innovations. At the same time, we manage to fully meet expectations in terms of prices, as the Bulgarian market and customers remain price sensitive. At Kaufland, price and quality always go hand in hand. They are part of our brand promise and we never compromise here.
*According to © denkstatt Bulgaria Net Impact assessment report of Kaufland Bulgaria. The document is based on data on the company’s activities in 2019.