New supermarket chain plans to launch in Austria

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When it comes to supermarkets, Austria is a highly competitive place. Away from Spar, REWE and Hofer, a new player could soon be in the mix.

Just over a third of Austrians shop for groceries at Spar, and slightly fewer at the REWE Group’s Billa stores. The discounters Hofer and Lidl account for a quarter, leaving little room for the other chains. In one segment, however, Austria lags.

We’re talking about smaller stores that entice customers with long opening hours and large food offerings. That’s exactly the model of the U.S. company 7-Eleven. The basic premise of the chain was to be open from seven in the morning until eleven in the evening every day. In the United States, Asia and many other countries, stores have become integral to the street scene.

According to the “Lebensmittelzeitung,” this will soon happen in other countries. Branches are also to be established in Austria and Germany. Currently, there are around 83,000 stores worldwide. Alone, 60,000 are in East Asia, and 14,000 are in North America. In Europe, there are a few in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

It is not yet known exactly when the expansion will start and how many supermarkets will be built in Austria. 7-Eleven is still looking for franchisees, according to a call on the company’s website. In addition to Austria and Germany, the U.S. company wants to penetrate markets in France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

The smaller 7-Eleven stores offer everyday goods, including food, magazines, tobacco products and beverages. But recently, there has also been an increasing selection of already prepared food such as burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs and salads. In some cases, there are even freshly prepared pizzas.

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