Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Shopping in Slovenia or Croatia - Which Country Pays Off?

Croatia's infamous VAT is throwing prices around much more than one might expect at first when shopping in Lidl or Spar. Just how does your weekly shop in Croatia compare to a weekly shop in neighbouring Slovenia?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of March, 2019, when taking a walk through six Slovenian and Croatian shops, it didn't take long to realise that retailers are struggling with their own branded goods, which are already sold at relatively low prices, and they could actually save well on them.

The popular Italian retail chain Eurospin, known for its discount prices, hasn't yet opened its doors in Croatia, but it can be revealed that the retail companty is indeed looking for locations for its stores across the country. It also has its own website in Croatian language on which the following has been published: "Still a little more patience ... We're coming."

A group of 24sata journalists from Croatia visited their store in Laško in neighbouring Slovenia to check if their prices really are lower than their competitors, and what prices were in comparison to the Croatian market.

They selected a basket of fourteen different products and compared then - Eurospin was cheaper than the first competitor in Slovenia by just a few lipa.

They also compared the prices in Slovenian stores with those in Croatia - some shopping baskets are very much the same, and the difference between the cheapest Slovenian product and the most expensive Croatian one is 22 kuna. However, it should be borne in mind that Slovenians have two tax rates applied when it comes to retail - 22 and 9.5 percent, and they also have a lower VAT rate (surprise, surprise) than is applied in Croatia, of 25 and 13 percent.

Eurospin appears very similar to the already popular Lidl.

When comparing the cheapest Slovenian and cheapest Croatian basket, the difference is 10.82 kuna. There were, as stated, forteen different products in the basket. When looking around on February the 25th of this year, the group of Croatian journalists visited the popular Slovenian shops including Eurospin, Lidl, Spar, and Mercator, the majority owner of which is Croatia's formerly ailing Agrokor.

They tried to find the cheapest products (flour, oil, butter...). When comparing detergents and softeners, they looked for products that were cheaper per litre, regardless of the size of the packaging, ie, whether the product volume is one, two, four litres...

Their cart showed that Eurospin was actually slightly more expensive than Croatia's beloved Lidl, at least on that day - by 2.30 kuna, Spar was cheaper by 3.60 kuna, and Mercator was cheaper by a not so insignificant 21.53 kuna.

Eurospin and Lidl have been shown to have relatively similar prices, and according to their trade concept, each reminds one of the other. Spar, which had the biggest store in Laško, had similar and sometimes identical prices as those in Eurospin. Only Mercator was considerably more expensive than the others, but their overall offer, just like at Spar, was much richer than that of Lidl and Eurospin.

The Italian discount store, just like Lidl, often only offers its own brands on it shelves, or products made by only one manufacturer - for example, only one type of oil, one type of sugar, one type of flour, etc.

The 24sata journalists compared the products purchased over in Slovenia to those in Lidl and Spar in Zagreb the following day, once again searching for the cheapest of all.

The most expensive shopping basket in Zagreb was from Lidl and it was 13.67 kuna more expensive than Eurospin in Slovenia. Let's remember, it should be taken into account that VAT in Croatia is higher certainly has a big influence over Croatian prices. The cheapest basket was from Spar in Zagreb, but when compared to Eurospin in Slovenia, it was still more expensive - by 8.52 kuna.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated business page.


Click here for the original article by Ivancica Ladisic and Katarina Dimitrijevic Hrnjkas for 24sata

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Nike Factory Store Confirms Departure from Republic of Croatia

Amid the to all-too-frequent flow of unwelcome and typically uninspiring economic news from across the country, the Nike Factory Store has now closed its stores, offering no public explanation or concrete reason for the unfortunate move, as yet.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of February, 2019, Croatia's Nike Factory Store officially closed its doors over the last few days. Lider.hr received the official news of the hugely popular sport brand decision to close  its wholesale and retail trade in Croatia from Nike itself. The popular Nike Factory Store, which has been operating out of Roses Designer Outlet in the Croatian capital of Zagreb for ten years now, has been closed down.

While what appears to be a rather sudden move can easily spark questions and speculation as to what has been being going on behind closed doors from many, Nike has not yet publicly stated the reason(s) behind their departure from the Repubic of Croatia, but the giant brand made sure to emphasise the fact that their company's business operations on the Croatian market will continue to be pursued online, through websites and via mobile applications, as well as via existing distributors and retail partners.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated business and news pages for more information on not only Nike Factory Outlet's closure, but on news from up and down the country, and for the latest information on doing business in Croatia and the country's current investment and business climate.

If it's just what's going on in the capital that interests you, give Total Zagreb a follow.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Zagreb and Poreč to Get Large New Shopping Outlets in 2019

Good news for retail therapy lovers and job seekers alike as both Zagreb and the Istrian city of Poreč are due to get new big shopping centres and a wave of new employment opportunities that go with it.

As Korana Sutlic/Barbara Ban/Novac writes on the 2nd of February, 2019, the current plan for Poreč's up and coming brand new outlet is to have it completed entirely by this summer, it will be located at the entrance to the popular Istrian city. It will be the first such shopping centre in the second largest city in Istria to accommodate shops such as BIPA, C & A, CCC, Deichmann, Galileo, Hervis, Müller, New Yorker, Tedi and Svijet Media.

The investor and owner of the project is the company AM PS Delta Nekretnine d.o.o., which has already built a shopping center in Pula - Pula City Mall. Otherwise, the company AM PS Delta Real Estate Ltd., a member of the Croatian subsidiary of MID Bau Real Estate Ltd., is one of the leading developers on the domestic market, and along with the Pula project, they so far have realised the Garden Mall project in Zagreb, TC Koprivnica, STC Osijek, STC Sisak , STC Valpovo, and STC Umag.

''Works began several months ago, and the completion is scheduled for June this year. Poreč will get its well-deserved shopping and entertainment centre, conceptually conceived as a retail park, and every store will have its own entrance. The retail area of ​​the centre will be around 8,379 square metres in size, which will also make it the largest shopping center in Poreč, and in just a few days the final version of its layout will be known,'' they say from Poreč's city administration upon welcoming this large investment.

Along with the new shopping centre, new jobs will of course come as part of the greater package, which is naturally a more than welcome move for the local economy.

Projects in Zagreb

In addition, this June will see a brand new retail park open at the western part of the Arena Center in Zagreb, on a surface of 8,000 square metres, the content of which will mainly be shops which need large spaces. In the Zagreb district of Špansko, a brand new Z centre will be constructed, which will result in an impressive 60,000 square metre shopping centre, along with stand-alone facilities - McDonald's and Lidl.

The new Zagreb retail centre will boast a square, a multiplex cinema, as well as numerous shops, cafes and restaurants. The completion of Zagreb's Z centre's construction is planned for the end of this year. The completion of the reconstruction of Branimir Centre is also expected this spring.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle and business pages for much more. If it's just Zagreb you're interest in, give Total Zagreb a follow.


Click here for the original article by Korana Sutlic and Barbara Ban for Novac.jutarnji.hr

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Billion Kuna More Spent in December 2018 Than December 2017

Just how much did you spend for Christmas 2018? Croats spent a massive billion kuna more during this festive season than they did during the festive season before it, which sends out a positive signal.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 2nd of January, 2019, consumption in December 2018 reached record 14.85 billion kuna, up 7.1 percent from the same period last year when the average consumer spending amounted to 13.79 billion kuna, according to data from the Croatian tax administration. This marks an impressive billion kuna increase.

"This increase of over one billion kuna is in line with the estimates of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK). The rising of wages and their growth through tax reform(s) acted upon the optimism of citizens and also on consumption. We also had a good tourist season, which also works in favour of this year's record-breaking December,'' said HGK's Tomislav Ravlić.

She stressed that this contribution to public spending has increased as more and more employers have decided to pay their employees a higher salary, accompanied by bigger Christmas bonuses and similar monetary measures.

According to the results of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce's research which was carried out last year, the largest number of respondents spent between 100 and 500 kuna on Christmas gifts (39 percent), followed by those who set between 500 and 1000 kuna (31 percent) this year.

The upper limit of 1000 kuna was exceeded 9 percent of people, while less 21 percent of the respondents spent less than 100 kuna. Almost 40 percent of people left toys and similar items under the Christmas tree in December 2018, with cosmetics (37 percent), footwear and clothing (36 percent) and delicatessen food products (25 percent) following.

As positive trends are appearing to continue, will 2019's festive season manage to outdo this one?

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated business and news pages for much more on consumerism in Croatia, spending trends, doing business and the business and investment climate.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

From Dubai to Zagreb: Family Travels to Croatia for Sales

Prices in Zagreb dropped by anywhere between 50 and 70 percent yesterday, sparking a shopping frenzy among many hungry for a bargain amid the chaos of the traditional post-Christmas sales. One family came not from another city, or even from over the border from Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary or Bosnia and Herzegovina, but all the way from Dubai to Zagreb, just for the Croatian capital city's price cuts.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of December, 2018, the family, who arrived from Dubai to Zagreb stated that when compared to their prices over in Dubai, there are some real bargains to be found in Zagreb.

''So, that's why we come to Zagreb every year when the sales are on,'' Shamma AlZaabo explained while he and his family were searching for said bargains in the very heart of Zagreb's city centre, choosing between a multitude of colourful pullovers, dresses, and shirts.

In the [United Arab] Emirates, prices are much more expensive, he says, so there he needs to deliberately choose every garment wisely and calculate how much exactly he needs to purchase it. In the Croatian capital however, this isn't the case, he says, and even though he didn't come all the way from Dubai to Zagreb for anything special in particular, he certainly left the stores with his hands full, according to a report from Večernji list.

As is commonplace, the big winter discounts have begun in order to shift stock, and according to the Consumer Protection Act, the sales and price cuts are set to last for the next sixty days, and during that time all of the goods must be clearly labeled with both their old and new price tags, as well as the exact percentage discount customers will be getting for their purchase.

While some stores inevitably keep hold of the same prices for the entire sales period, others, such as the popular clothes store New York, will lower their prices once again following the turn of the year, in 2019. Although yesterday was just the first day of the "first round" of sales, ''scandals'' at the hands of bargain-hungry shoppers have already taken place at the entrances to numerous shopping centres in Zagreb.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle and news pages for much more.

Friday, 28 December 2018

SPAR Croatia Reducing Prices of Many Products on January 1st 2019

An announcement from one well-frequented store, SPAR Croatia, will likely bring a smile to the faces of many, as prices are set to be slashed next month.

The Christmas spirit might be warm and fuzzy in stark contrast to the cold winter weather, but the consequences of eating, drinking and being merry (along with the need to buy more and more expensive presents), often leave our wallets feeling much thinner even if we've definitely grown, and I don't mean upwards.

Thankfully, January is a quiet, although boring month. Not much happens and for very many, it is the month of trying to earn back at least a portion of what was spent when under the soft yet somewhat deceptive blanket of December's glittery Christmas cheer. 

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of December, 2018, SPAR Croatia has issued a very welcome announcement which guarantees that as of the 1st of January, 2019, the prices of more than 1,500 products that can be found on the popular shop's shelves will be reduced by more than 9.6 percent.

SPAR Croatia will lower its product prices according to the Croatian Government's decision to reduce VAT on fresh meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, eggs, and baby diapers from 25 percent to 13 percent.

"We welcome the efforts of the Croatian Government, which, by deciding on tax relief, will further assist Croatian citizens as well as the Croatian economy. With our price reductions, SPAR Croatia supports this move by bringing the price of what is in the shopping baskets of citizens down,'' stated Helmut Fenzl, CEO of SPAR Croatia.

Make sure to stay up to date with our news page for everything you need to know about what's going on up and down the country, from cultural events to live performances, down to tax cuts, business ventures and the latest political scandal.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Croatian Market: Plodine Interested in Purchasing Konzum?

Ever since the Agrokor crisis threatened to sink the domestic economy, the Croatian market has been a rocky one, but despite that, Konzum is back on its feet and is even attracting purchasing potential.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 7th of December, 2018, Milo Ćurković, the owner and CEO of the popular shopping chain, Plodine, said that although he doesn't believe we that Plodine are the only interested party, he believes that they would be the most ready to take over Konzum.

In terms of revenue and income, Plodine is by far largest company in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, and when it comes to the top-list of retail chains in Croatia, they're in third place, with a share of between 10 and 20 percent, just like both Lidl and Kaufland, while the almighty Konzum is still gripping onto first place, according to a report from Novi list.

"The crisis in Agrokor was dangerous for the entire economy, however, everything was fine in the sense that the taxpayers didn't have to bear the consequences of it, and that's what is most important," said Ćurković for Novi list, revealing that Plodine is very much interested in purchasing Konzum.

''We absolutely are. The question is, of course, what the [Agrokor's] new owners will do. The new owners are bankers, creditors, and my estimate is that for the bank, this isn't their main business, so, as soon as the company is consolidated, they'll sell that part of the business, which we're ready for and want. I think the entire consolidation process will last two to three years, and we'll be further prepared in that period so that we're fully prepared for that potential acquisition at the right time. This will be the most interesting acquisition for all of us in this sector.

We're waiting to see how the situation in Agrokor will turn out. I don't believe that we're the only ones interested [in purchasing Konzum], but I believe that we're the most ready for the takeover of Konzum. This isn't just about finances. You have to be ready for personnel, organisational, logistical matters, and we've fulfilled those conditions,'' said Ćurković, adding that anyone who succeeds in buying Konzum will definitely be the main player on the Croatian retail market and that nobody would be able to do better.

"Our goal is to be the main player on the Croatian market," concluded Ćurković.

Make sure to stay up to date on the Croatian market, doing business in Croatia, and the domestic business and investment climate by following our dedicated business page.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Shopping in Croatia: New Retail Chain Looks for Workers

A new retail chain is coming to from Italy and offering a wealth of new possibilities for shopping in Croatia. Eurospin is a discount store with enviable revenue and income, and it is bringing job openings with it.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 3rd of December, 2018, not so long ago, Germany's Hofer attempted to take to the Croatian market, announcing its opening in the western part of Zagreb and its surroundings, even going as far as to recruit workers, and then, without explanation, it withdrew.

With regard to ads on social networks in both Zagreb and Rijeka seeking workers, construction land, commercial property with parking in cities with more than 10,000 people living there, the question is when will the Croatian market become richer for another major international trade chain - Eurospin.

As Vecernji list writes, Eurospin is a classic Italian discount store with more than 1,000 stores across Italy and 80 in neighbouring Slovenia, boasting about 7,000 workers, record revenues of 4.7 billion euro and an income of 184 million euro in 2017.

While this is far from the leading ten players in Europe, among which the Schwarz group is the frontrunner with both Lidl and Kaufland in the same portfolio, when it comes to the Croatian market, in which the top ten of the total 38.7 percent of total retail revenues continues to hold more than 80 percent of the market share, the Eurospin concept such as PennyMarket, Aldi, or Hofer is certainly significant when it comes to shopping in Croatia.

Specialising in the discounted sale of food products and daily shopping, Eurospin differs from other competitors in Europe by selling its brands exclusively. There are no classic brands found in other chains in these stores, only those that this retail chain's team plotted through its very own network of carefully selected partners.

The company has adjusted the format of its products in accordance with the taste and traditions of the individual markets, as Lidl is doing today, and this formula proved to be a winning one, first in Italy, and then in neighbouring Slovenia.

Back in 2000, they were the first in Italy in this segment by the number of sales points, turnover, and number of customers, they now want to become the most significant in Europe.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for information on doing business, retail, and shopping in Croatia and much more.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

New Croatian Central Consumer Portal, When Will It Be Ready?

According to Ipsos research, at least one negative shopping experience was reported by 29 percent of the respondents so far. In line with EU rules, a new Croatian Central Consumer Portal may provide the answer for consumers to be able to access everything they need to know about their rights.

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of November, 2018, a new set of European Union rules will soon be incorporated into domestic consumer protection legislation with the adoption of proposals sent to the Croatian Parliament.

Despite the generally welcome move, practice hasn't reflected theory so far, and information has shown that consumers tend to find it very hard to deal with the proverbial "forest" of regulations that exist when it comes to consumer rights and protection, and want easier access to information about their rights, as well as clear instructions to find out exactly who to contact when they feel that their rights have been denied, violated, or otherwise infringed upon.

The Ministry of Economy is therefore preparing a unique, Croatian central consumer portal entitled "Everything for Consumers" (Sve za potrošače) which should kick off with work by the end of this year, or just a little later at the very beginning of 2019.

"Our goal is that consumers no longer have to waste their time to first get the information [they need] about which competent body they require, then [spending more time] on just how to get to the [required] information from that body, but instead to have everything they need to know at their disposal - from how the product needs to be labelled in order for them to get all the information they need, and how it's necessary to point out the retail price to the possibility of the termination of the contract and the return of the goods, to what to pay attention to before they make purchases online,'' they state from the Ministry of Economy.

For the launch of the Croatian central consumer portal, inspiration drawn directly from field experience was used, and this year, campaigns across the country were organised, in March, September, and even on this coming Saturday another one will held at Zagreb's Zrinjevac.

The research conducted into this by the Ipsos agency back in September for the aforementioned Ministry shows how just a very small number of those over the age of 16, a mere 16.7 percent, believe they are somewhat or completely acquainted with their consumer rights. As many of 33.5 percent of consumers are totally unaware of what their rights as consumers are, and at least one negative customer experience was experienced by as many as 29 percent of the respondents, and most of them, as much as 71 percent, had a problem with a purchased product, followed then by public service irregularities (20 percent).

The move on creating the Croatian central consumer portal, and generally on placing greater emphasis and concern on consumer rights has been welcomed by Croatia because it ensures the continued proper functioning of the market, and the customer's satisfaction is very much in the interest of business people working in this field because transparency and fair rules often work as a trustworthy condition for returns, with re-purchases often then being made.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated business and politics pages for more information like this.


Click here for the original article by Darko Bicak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Is Croatia Entering New European Retail Market?

With the acquisition of numerous shopping centres, is Croatia entering a new European retail market?

As Ana Blaskovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of November, 2018, the consolidation process continues on the domestic real estate market; with Austria's Immofinanz announcing the takeover of two shopping centers, STC Osijek and STC Valpovo, as part of a larger regional transaction worth about 90.5 million euro.

Immofinanz is also taking over eight ''retail'' parks in Slovenia and Serbia, as well as here in Croatia, totaling about 68,000 square metres. The value of the part of the transaction pertaining to the Republic of Croatia has not yet been published, but the entire package, Croatia's part relates to the smallest surface area of approximately 13,500 square metres, from which the Austrian MID group is leaving, the group is probably best known for its relations with the Garden Mall in Zagreb, which was sold to Supernova earlier.

In addition to Croatia, the MID group handed over three ''retail'' parks in Maribor, Krško and Ptuj in neighbouring Slovenia to Immofinanz, totaling 22,000 square metres. Owing to that, Immofinanz's Slovenian portfolio has risen to 52,300 square metres of rentable surface.

The Serbian retailer is MPC group, founded by Serbian businessman Petar Matić, and according to the latest available data, a third of the company was sold to Atterbury Europe back in 2015. Acquisitions in Serbia include 32,000 square feet of rentable land in Subotica, Borčija, and Smederevo. Stop Shop, Immofinanz's brand of retail parks, will in the future operate in nine locations and across 83,600 square metres.

Among the dealers are very well known names like Deichmann, H&M, C&A, Takko, KiK and Jysk, and the shopping centres will soon undergo rebranding, after which they will operate under Immofinanz's Stop Shop concept.

"These acquisitions reinforce our position as the leading European ''retail'' park operator, and, when speaking about Croatia, this marks our entry into a new European retail market that is extremely interesting to our international leasing companies. Good locations, excellent business, good competitiveness of local situations and classical ones, and a healthy mix of tenants are the main features of these attractive investment opportunities,'' said Dietman Reindl, the executive director of Immofinanz in a statement.

The reporters say that the exit of MID from two more centres (after leaving Zagreb's Garden Mall and centres in Koprivnica and Sisak) is the expected consequence of the pace of the new cycle on the market given the fact that its strength lies in project development, and for it to be the operator.

Click here for more business news from Croatia.


Click here for the original article by Ana Blaskovic on Poslovni Dnevnik

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