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ICA to open more than 100 food stores in the Baltic states

  • 2000-02-03
RIGA (LETA) - The Scandinavian food retail giant ICA will open more than 100 stores in the Baltic states in coming years, says the Swedish newspaper Finanstidningen.

The newspaper says that Chairman Roland Fahlin is convinced that several big deals will be concluded in the food business sector. In the beginning of December, the Danish supermarket chain Ahold will purchase 50 percent of the ICA food retail group.

"In two years, we will become the leader on the Baltic market. I reckon that our turnover will reach several million Swedish kronas in this region," said Fahlin.

According to Finanstidningen, the Baltic states, especially Latvia and Lithuania, are the major target for ICA's expansion from Scandinavia.

In the interview, Fahlin mentions opening several hundred stores. There could be 100 or 200 stores, depending on how big they are. ICA will not be dealing with opening low-price stores, even though purchasing capacity in the Baltic states is much lower than in Scandinavia. Instead, there will be rather expansive supermarkets, attracting customers basically with their full shelves and fresh products.

The Swedish newspaper says that ICA's trademark will be Rimi in the Baltic states, as this is the name of the organization's Norwegian branch. The Norwegians were the initiators of the eastward move.