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Lidl Buys Land in Serbia, Plans ‘Simultaneous’ Opening of Stores

June 27 (Bloomberg) -- Lidl, a German discount retailer, picked four sites in Serbia and is looking for more land to build stores as it moves into the Balkan country.

Lidl bought two lots in the northern cities of Subotica and Zrenjanin and is “close to completing” purchases in Novi Sad and Valjevo of land for stores of about 2,000 square meters (21,500 square feet) each, the company owned by the Neckarsulm, Germany-based Schwarz Group, said in e-mailed comments today.

The aim is to “secure a bigger number of locations in Serbia, then open the stores simultaneously,” Lidl said, declining to comment further on timing and total investment. Serbia’s Investment Promotion Agency for the northern Vojvodina province said Lidl will open the stores next year, after agreeing to pay 187.43 million dinars ($2.02 million) for a 11,140 square-meter lot in Novi Sad.

Lidl will be the first major discounter in the biggest former Yugoslav republic, where average net salary in May equaled $435. The three largest supermarket chains on the market of 7.2 million people are owned by Brussels-based Delhaize Group SA, Croatia’s Agrokor d.d., and Slovenia’s Mercator Poslovni Sistem d.d.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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