The Germany-based REWE Group has decided to close all 49 Penny Market discounters it operates in Bulgaria by the end of October 2015. The company no longer wants to carry on with a discount business in the country.
Instead, the German group will focus on developing its supermarket business in the country under the Billa brand. Billa Bulgaria will take over the logistic centre of Penny Market Bulgaria in Stolnik, near Sofia, as well as some of the discounters. Currently, REWE Group has 92 Billa supermarkets in Bulgaria.
It is worth noting that in 2014 REWE Group tried to exit Bulgaria and Romania, but the sales procedure was later cancelled. Then, in H1 2015, the company tried to sell its operations in Bulgaria but it did not approve the offers it received. According to its website, the Penny Market chains will be further developed in Austria, Italy, Romania, Czech Republic and Hungary.
Penny Market Bulgaria has been running a loss for the past several years, according to Kapital. After Penny’s exit, Lidl, part of Germany's Schwarz Group, will remain the only discounter on the Bulgarian market.