On the occasion of the 5th year since its entry into the Bulgarian market, Lidl Bulgaria announced summary data on the results achieved by the chain from 2010 until now.
In addition to a 60% increase in customers overall, the chain also saw a 12% increase in loyal customers in the past 9 months alone. The increased trust of consumers is also complemented by the exported data on the quality of service and changes in the habits of Bulgarians shopping in the chain. One of them is the time spent shopping in the chain - an average of 14 minutes, including going through the cash register, which saves customers time. Another indicator is the 40% increase over the past 5 years in the average tip of the chain's customers.
"If at the end of 2010, the chain served as many customers as there are residents of a medium-sized Bulgarian city, five years later we are already serving customers equal to one of the top 7 cities in our country," he told the media the executive director of the company, Mrs. Milena Dragiiska-Dencheva.
With 78 operating stores in 41 cities and over 1,800 employees, the store chain ranks among one of the most sought-after employers in our country, and in the next 18 months it will increase its team by another 300 employees. People are one of the most important investments for the company, therefore, according to its data, the salary in the chain is approximately 60% higher than the national average and about 70% higher than the industry average. In addition to purely financial conditions, food vouchers and payment of the full amount of insurance, the company also invests in the career development of its employees through individual training and qualification programs. Another aspect of the chain's human resources development policy is the regular participation in career forums abroad, in which the goal is to attract educated young Bulgarians to return to work in the country.
The company's attitude towards Bulgarian finds several more key expressions. One aspect is the constant and purposeful efforts of the company to support Bulgarian producers. For the past 5 years, in addition to maintaining relations with their Bulgarian suppliers, the company has expanded its joint activity with over 40% of them in various product categories, with every ninth producer also getting a chance to export their goods outside of Bulgaria. Currently, the company exports dairy products - sour milk, cheese; fresh meats from the top-rated Deluxe brand, as well as bread and Dospat trout for countries such as Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, etc.
In 2016, the chain launched a special program that will increase the share of Bulgarian goods offered in the chain's stores. Data on the development of some of the main product categories were also presented. Compared to 2011, the biggest growth is currently in the vegetables segment, with the increase of 116% due both to an increase in turnover and to the greater variety of goods on offer – over 100 products. There was also growth in fruits by 24%, baked goods by 23%, fresh meats by 20%.
"The Bulgarian consumer definitely has an affinity for fresh products, which is also proven by the growth of these product categories," said Mrs. Milena Dragiiska-Dencheva, before inviting the journalists present to a blind tasting of products with which from the company illustrated one of the phases of the process of determining the assortment in the chain.
For the past 5 years, the company has realized nearly BGN 728 million investments in land, buildings and equipment and has paid in total for the period 2010-2015.nearly BGN 270 million in taxes to the state. BGN 7.3 million have been invested in infrastructure projects for the benefit of society, such as improving children's and sports grounds, green areas and intersections.
At the press conference, Mrs. Milena Dragiiska-Dencheva presented the unprecedented collection "Incredible" by Lili Ivanova especially for the 5th anniversary of the company. 65 songs on 5 CDs, selected by Lili Ivanova herself, which will be available exclusively in the stores of the chain from November 2.
The management of the chain announced that for 2016 the main focus will again be on quality, and the ambitions for the next 5 years are for the company to become the most successful chain for food and non-food goods in Bulgaria.