German retailer Aldi to pull out of Greece

German discount giant Aldi is to exit the Greek market, with the retailer saying that it is now in talks with several parties to take over its 38 Greek stores. Reports from Greece suggest that the company is said to feel that its operations there are ‘not sustainable’, with management taking the decision to suspend all future expansion and sell off its existing portfolio of outlets. Aldi (Sud) entered Greece in November 2008, with its first stores in the capital, Athens, opening in autumn 2009. It said last year that it planned to open 20 stores in 2010, along with a second distribution facility, however, it has come no-where near the reported target of 100 stores. In particular, analysts said that Aldi had struggled to compete with Lidl on price, while it had also not succeeded in attracting the large German expat community to its stores. With the Greek exit the first ever market withdrawal in Aldi Sud’s history, the company is now expected to focus on existing markets.

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