Russian discounter Torgservis wants to enter the German market via a Berlin-based subsidiary called TS Markt. Torgservis, founded in Siberia, plans to open "over 100" stores all over Germany.
Competing with Aldi and Lidl
The Russian chain aims to dive into the gap in the market that German discounters Aldi and Lidl left when they opted for a more up-market concept with a wider selection of major A-brands, and wants to do so with stores that look like warehouses: the merchandise is still in boxes and placed on pallets and racks. With up to 95 % of its product range (of under 2000 SKU) coming from its own private label, the chain is extremely cost-efficiënt.
Torgservis is a largely unknown brand in Europe, as its 731 "Svetofor" (traffic light) and "Mayak" (lighthouse) stores are in found in small villages near the Urals. It was founded in 2009 and famous for its cost-cutting methods on both rent and store opening costs - the latter would only amount to 13,000 euro.
Up next for the Russian chain are supposed to be Romania and Poland, two huge markets in Central and Eastern Europe. However, both in those two markets as in Germany the EU quality rules apply: experts are curious to see how the Russian giant will cope with the costs coming from adhering to those.