Thursday, 19 January 2023

Hungarians Shopping for Groceries in Croatia at Lower Prices

January 19, 2023 - With Croatia's entry into the Schengen Area on the first day of the year 2023, came a few surprises, a few challenges, and a few benefits. The borders with the neighbouring EU states have been opened, which has made travel easier. Many Croatian people decided to use that and hop over to Slovenia, Italy, or Hungary to see if they could shop for groceries there at somewhat cheaper prices. Now, it seems, the neighbours have started discovering that when it comes to certain things it might be cheaper to shop for groceries in Croatia.

As Poslovni / Večernji List write, Hungarians have started coming to Croatia for groceries, paying almost half the price for some things.

After Hungary lifted the restrictions on prices, many Hungarian citizens living along the border started visiting Croatia to buy groceries at a better price. Inflation there is currently the highest in the EU, and citizens save up to 16 euros by buying fuel in Croatia. Oil currently costs EUR 1.39, sugar EUR 0.60... All these are confirmations that prices are going wild. So the journalists of the Hungarian ATV went to Croatia, where they compared the prices.

"In the supermarket we bought four yellow potatoes for 500 forints per kilogram, so it amounted to 220 forints, two onions for 529 forints per kilogram, which was about a hundred forints, and we bought a hot dog at a relatively reasonable price, with a meat content of 65% ", they reported, and the final bill was 913 forints, or 2.3 euros.

Upon arrival in Croatia, the situation changed significantly, journalists report. In the store, they could choose between five types of potatoes, and their prices were roughly the same - a kilogram for about 260 forints, or 0.65 euros. In addition, they also found hot dogs with 95 percent meat, so they chose that product. For the same products - four potatoes, two onions and hot dogs - they paid 529 forints, i.e. 1.33 euros.

According to journalists who visited Croatian shops, Croatians do not mind Hungarian shopping tourism. They also state that last year the government reduced VAT on basic foodstuffs, and the fact that they can now get to Croatia without border controls makes it even easier for Hungarians.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Friday, 23 December 2022

Check Where and When to do Last-Minute Holiday Shopping in Croatia

December 23, 2022 - With Christmas only two days away, many are yet to do their holiday shopping, and many shops will have different working hours than usual. Read on to find out where to do your last-minute shopping in Croatia.

Poslovni lists the holiday hours of a few different shops. Konzum's stores will be running on a special schedule this year. They will not be open on Christmas Day, December 25, and St. Stephen's Day, December 26, while on Christmas Eve, December 24, and New Year's Day, December 31, they will work with reduced hours.

VELPRO stores will work according to a special schedule for the coming holidays, and customers can check the details on the VELPRO website.

The Kaufland shopping chain will also work different hours during the coming holidays; on Christmas Eve, 24 December, all Kaufland stores will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On New Year's Day, 31 December, all Kaufland stores will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. On Christmas and St. Stephen's Day, so on 25 and 26 December 2022, as well as on 1 January 2023, Kaufland stores will remain closed. On 6 January 2023, store opening hours will be shortened and differ from location to location, which you can check at by entering the branch you are interested in.

Lidl, on the other hand, has reduced hours on Christmas Eve until 2:00 p.m., and on Sunday and Monday, the stores are closed.

Check the working hours of SPAR and INTERSPAR here and for Plodine on their official websites.

Shopping centres

You can check Arena Centar working hours and details here.

Most shops in the Avenue Mall in Zagreb will be closed for the holidays except for some catering facilities. You can check the details here.

Check the opening hours of City Center One West during the Christmas and New Year holidays here.

Tower Centar Rijeka is open until 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and you can check the details here.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Konzum Locking Prices of 100 Products Until End of 2022

September the 28th, 2022 - As of tomorrow, the large Croatian shopping chain, Konzum, is set to lock the prices of 100 of its products until the end of this year as inflation continues to bite.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as of Thursday, September the 29th, Konzum will lock the maximum prices of 100 of its products from the basic consumer basket in order to help its loyal customers in the challenging current situation in which the prices of almost all foodstuffs are continuously increasing. These 100 products come from a whole range of categories that aren't covered by the decision of the Croatian Government on direct measures to control the prices of certain food products, which came at a cost of about 40 million kuna for Konzum.

These locked prices will not change until the end of this year, but they may still be further reduced. At the same time, customers using the Konzum MultiPlusCard card will be able to purchase up to 1,500 products at a lower price from September the 29th. MultiPlusCard prices will be lower by an average of 20 percent, which is the total value of the discount in the amount of 60 million kuna.

"We're the market leader and our every move is closely monitored. The situation we're in isn't easy for anyone, especially for our customers, and that's why we constantly, through numerous initiatives, try to make their everyday life as easy as possible.

This isn't only a question of our social responsibility, but also of our obligations and our influence as the largest retail chain in all of Croatia. I believe that even with this latest move, with which we'll lock in the maximum prices of another 100 products and provide additional benefits to MultiPlusCard users, our customers will recognise our efforts to reduce their household budget costs,'' said Zoran Mitreski, president of the Konzum Management Board.

The Konzum products which will have their prices locked are from the categories of fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and fish, dairy and bakery products, frozen products, products from the chain's delicatessen, canned foods, beverages, hygiene products for both children and adults, cleaning products and others, and more information available is on Konzum's website.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 16 July 2022

Croatian Secret Shoppers Monitoring Dual Pricing Rollout in Stores

July the 16th, 2022 - Croatian secret shoppers chosen by the Economy Ministry are out on the field monitoring the rollout of dual pricing in the country's stores as Eurozone accession rapidly approaches.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after the EU Council formalised the decision to introduce the euro as the official currency in the Republic of Croatia a mere four days ago, the Economy Ministry announced a group of Croatian secret shoppers who will monitor the situation for the sake of consumer protection during the transition to the new currency.

The competition held back in the spring selected six candidates from different parts of Croatia, who, in mid-August will start monitoring precisely how the prices of goods and services are recalculated out in the field during the mandatory dual pricing rule which is set to come into force in September 2022. Some stores, including large chains like Konzum, have already begun displaying their prices in this way.

The selected Croatian secret shoppers are from the Medjimurje Consumer Society and the Consumer Protection Development Organisation from Selnica in Medjimurje County, the Consumer Education and Information Centre from Bilje in Osijek-Baranja County, the Croatian Consumer Protection Association from Zagreb, the Consumer Rights Protection Association from Split, and the Association Consumer Centre from Rijeka.

How will it work?

Over the next thirty days, these Croatian secret shoppers will conclude a contract in which they will receive 112 to 120,000 kuna for their mystery shopping activities, and they will monitor and obtain consumer information until the end of next year, by which time the obligation of dual price reporting will be in full force and will have been for some time.

The plan is for the engaged associations to monitor price movements and the correctness of price recalculation and rounding on a monthly basis by reviewing 50 to 60 different goods and services, at a minimum of 10 points of sale and five points where various services are provided in exchange for money. The associations that have been selected as Croatian secret shoppers have the obligation to publish the results they've obtained regularly, more precisely by the 15th of each month, on their websites.

The plan is also for the situation on the ground to be checked by five people who will be hired by selected associations, and the tours should include, in addition to retailers, fuel stations, butchers, bakeries, as well as service providers such as hair salons and catering and hospitality facilities. For two hours, associations must also provide open telephone lines where consumers will be able to get information from them about those facilities who are wrongly trying to take advantage of the situation and make a profit.

Croatian secret shoppers will soon be placed in banks, as well...

It won't only be stores and other facilities under the radars of Croatian secret shoppers, banks won't be immune either. The Croatian National Bank noted that it will hire secret shoppers, or perhaps in this case it's better to call them secret clients, in order to monitor what practices are being carried out at bank counters, as well as at other credit intermediaries under its authority.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Studenac Expands to Slunj, Takes Over Kordun Retail Chain

April the 20th, 2022 - Studenac, the very well known shopping chain most commonly seen up and down the coast of Dalmatia, has been spreading its wings over the last few months and has now entered another new Croatian county, this time taking over the Slunj-based Kordun retail chain.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Studenac is one of the leading retail chains in the Republic of Croatia, it's also the chain with the largest chain of stores. It has now taken over the Slunj-based Kordun retail chain which operates in 9 retail stores across Karlovac County and employs 52 employees.

This new takeover of the Kordun retail chain by Studenac is a continuation of the continuous growth that the company has achieved over more recent years, and after the acquisition of the Dubrovnik chain Pemo d.o.o., Studenac has strengthened its position as the chain with the largest number of stores. In addition to that, Studenac is now present for the first time in Karlovac County in Slunj, Rakovica, Cetingrad and Dreznik Grad.

"Joining the Kordun retail chain to the Studenac network is of strategic importance for the company because, among other things, it brings us into a new geographical area. It also confirms our thesis that small formats of stores like ours have great potential and several advantages, and we successfully use them to fit into different local communities and provide customers with a pleasant and complete shopping experience. This is exactly what we're going to provide to our new customers, with the gradual improvement of all business aspects,'' said Michal Senczuk, President of the Management Board of Studenac.

The takeover of the Kordun retail chain implies their reorganisation into Studenac stores, the enrichment of the assortment on offer and the introduction of many other benefits for local customers. Speaking of benefits, in addition to regular weekly promotions, customers in Studenac can additionally expect welcome discounts, special promotions, as well as activities at points of sale such as a fun wheel of fortune in the first weeks of the store's opening.

On top of all of that, customers can also download ''Moj Studenac/My Studeanc'', a brand new loyalty programme in the form of a modern mobile application (app) that brings them value and extra savings for their loyalty. The free app, available for both Android and iOS devices, provides customers with a unique experience of everyday shopping in Studenac, with special benefits that will be designed according to their individual shopping habits.

Studenac, with almost 750 stores and more than 4,000 employees across the country, is continuing its business growth strategy and introducing brand new and improved existing activities in order to better position Studenac as the best choice in every neighbourhood in which it is present and as one that meets the needs of its customers.

For more, check out our business section.

Monday, 28 March 2022

Studenac Has More Than Double the Amount of Konzum Stores Across Croatia

March the 28th, 2022 - After completing the takeover of the Kutina-based company Lonia, the retail giant Studenac will have as many as 1,050 stores across the country and will be by far the largest chain in all of the Republic of Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Omis-based company Studenac is currently owned by the Polish investment giant Enterprise investors, and in the meantime it purchased the bakery chain Pan Pek and Zadar's Sonik market, Porec's Istrian supermarkets, Biograd's Bura chain, and recently Dubrovnik's very well known Pemo brand.

By that point, this large company had reached the impressive number of around 750 stores located up and down the country. The Kutina-based company, through the newly established company Lonia trgovina d.o.o., operates a network of 300 grocery stores and eight wholesale centres in Croatia. Two years ago, Lonia took over the Djurdjevac-based company Sloga podravska trgovina, which boasts about 70 stores.

Lonia operates in the City of Zagreb, Zagreb County, Sisak-Moslavina County, Bjelovar-Bilogora County, Pozega-Slavonia County, Brod-Posavina County, Karlovac and Karlovac County, and the Varazdin and Koprivnica-Krizevci counties, and in these regions, Studenac will take over their market positions, as reported by Danica.

After taking over Lonia, Omis's very well known Studenac will therefore have around 1,050 stores under its belt in Croatia, becoming the retailer with by far the largest number of outlets nationwide. They are in primarily ''smaller formats'', such as small neighbourhood shops and supermarkets. Unlike, for example, the second largest sales giant in Croatia, Konzum, which has 608 stores, but they're mostly larger supermarkets and hypermarkets.

The third in terms of number of shopping outlets is the well known Dalmatian Tommy from Split with a total of 226 stores, Spar ranks fourth with 118, and Plodine is fifth with 107. The wildly popular Lidl has 105, and its sister company Kaufland (part of the same Schwarz group) boasts 45 Croatian stores.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Plitvice Mall Opening Up 90 Employment Opportunities for Locals

January the 1st, 2022 - The word ''Plitvice'' might well be synonymous with the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park, but when it comes to the economy in this part of Croatia, things tend to be very much overlooked and the population is thinning here by the year. The new Plitvice Mall is set to open up some new employment opportunities for local residents who might have otherwise been tempted elsewhere.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in the tourist zone of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, the new Plitvice Mall has been opened to the very many visitors and locals of the Rakovica Municipality, who just before Christmas got a brand new, very attractive shopping centre spanning almost 4,000 square metres of retail space. According to the statement, the construction of Plitvice Mall began back in May 2021.

The new Plitvice Mall shopping facility is located in an area that is visited by several million tourists during the summer months, which includes guests of the famous National Park which attracts people from all over the world, all of whom are flocking to see its stunning waterfalls and nature.

The investor's representative, Pasko Dodic, pointed out that the local region and its residents have been given not only the opportunity to create new jobs and as such boost the local economy, but also a new place of purchase that has not existed in this particular region of Croatia so far.

During the opening of the new Plitvice Mall, the mayor of Rakovica, Mihovil Bicanic, pointed out that the shopping centre will open more than 90 jobs for locals.

"Comparing things in terms of their percentages, the number of employed inhabitants of the municipality of Rakovica at the new Plitvice Mall would be identical to 34,000 employees in the City of Zagreb, and only in one single location. This project will keep young people and families in our area,'' added Bicanic.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Novi Marof SPAR: 100th SPAR Supermarket Opened in Croatia

July the 23rd, 2021 - The Novi Marof SPAR supermarket has opened its doors in the truly record time of just three and a half months, making it the 100th SPAR store to open its doors to customers in the Republic of Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in just over three months, which is remarkably quickly for this sort of business operation, especially here in Croatia, the newest SPAR supermarket sprang up at the entrance to the town of Novi Marof, just off the main Varazdin motorway.

The new Novi Marof SPAR boasts quite the modern and impressive glass design and easily attracts attention with its unusual appearance. To give some appropriate balance to its modern look, strong wooden beams and panels provide some additional warmth and appeal to Novi Marof's new retail addition.

In addition to a spacious car park with 91 parking spaces reserved for customers in this area, the new Novi Marof SPAR offer has made it easier for residents of this area and those surrounding it to get what they need without travelling further afield.

The opening ceremony of Croatia's 100th SPAR supermarket was attended by Mayor Sinisa Jenkac, who, together with Helmut Fenzl, President of the Management Board of SPAR Croatia, cut the ceremonial ribbon and formally opened the Novi Marof store.

The diversity, richness and uniqueness of the SPAR supermarket's offer is reflected in the wide selection of food and non-food items it boasts, and what makes this SPAR special are certainly the fish market with fresh fish and the butcher's department with the widest selection of barbecue and other fresh meat dishes and items.

In addition, four quick cash registers have been set up for easier shopping in the new SPAR supermarket for Novi Marof's local residents who will more than likely be happy that they'll no longer have to travel quite a distance anymore.

For more on shopping and international business moves in Croatia, follow our business section.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

HDZ Whip: Shopping Hours to be Adjusted to Seasonal Activities

ZAGREB, 6 July, 2021 - The whip of the ruling HDZ, Branko Bačić, said on Tuesday the parties of the parliamentary majority supported amendments to the Trade Act, adding that shopping hours would be adjusted to seasonal activities.

Parliament will debate the amendments in the autumn.

Speaking to the press after a meeting of the parliamentary majority, Bačić said they talked about the problem of restricting shopping hours until 9 pm, notably during the summer tourist season, when they have the biggest turnover.

"We must take account of the international convention on the rights of shop workers to daily and weekly rest," Bačić said, adding that it was important to reach as much consensus as possible with those to whom the law applied.

"We'll take into account rest and adjusting shopping hours to seasonal activities across Croatia. We'll give employers the possibility to decide how many Sundays in the year they will work."

Reformists president Radimir Čaćić pushed for as much flexibility regarding shopping hours as possible, saying that family firms should be allowed to work when and how long they wanted.

He praised the proposal by Silvano Hrelja of the Croatian Pensioners Party "not to define shopping hours but the number of non-working hours, to say that a shop must have eight non-working hours. That's very good as it allows everyone to organise themselves as they wish."

Bačić said the parliamentary majority also talked about plans to make job-keeping payments in sectors affected by the epidemic conditional on worker vaccination, adding that the purpose was to stimulate employers with a high vaccination rate "for contributing to curbing the epidemic as soon as possible."

He said the government was not shifting responsibility to employers and that measures to that effect would be agreed by the government, the social partners and legal experts, taking Croatia's economic interest into account.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 21 May 2021

Well Known Croatian Coastal Store Studenac Arrives in Zagreb

May the 21st, 2021 - If you've ever spent any time on the Croatian coast, you'll have noticed a shop called Studenac. The popular coastal store Studenac has now taken to the continental part of the country and opened its doors for the first time right here in the Croatian capital of Zagreb.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the Croatian coastal store Studenac, one of the leading retail chains on the Adriatic, is continuing to grow and expand its business, for the first time opening the doors of one of its markets in Zagreb. With the opening of this first store at the address Kneza Mislava 1, the city format of the store was presented and then adapted to the needs of customers in such an urban environment. The opening of the next stores owned by this chain in Zagreb is expected by the end of the year.

The arrival of the popular store Studenac in the Croatian capital is an important business step forward in the market positioning and strengthening of this company, not only as the leading chain along the Adriatic but also as one of the leading retail chains in the country as a whole.

"The opening of our stores in Zagreb is a continuation of our expansion strategy, whether it's organic growth or acquisitions. We're especially glad that we're achieving these set goals thanks to numerous improvements and innovation in business, despite the economic challenges. We're bringing a touch of the Adriatic to Zagreb and a new level of service quality that keeps pace with world FMCG trends. I believe that customers will quickly recognise the value we represent, which is that we're a neighbourhood shop, we're small but we boast some rich offers, and that we provide everything you need in one place - one step closer to customers,'' said Michal Senczuk, the CEO of Studenac.

The emphasis is being placed on the store's extensive TO GO offer, Senczuk added, noting that will surely go hand in hand with the often hectic lifestyle of the capital's residents.

Studenac stores will more than likely bring many offers and benefits to the people of Zagreb, and back in April, Studenac presented an assortment of carefully selected products of private brands, which, with the label of a green basket and at attractive prices, is available only on the shelves of this retail chain. In addition, in all Zagreb stores, Studenac's customers will have access to an enriched TO GO offer, which offers a selection of selected hot drinks and baked products, as well as a selected range of dishes with the possibility to prepare them in store.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

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