Dutch non-food discounter Action has opened its first two Czech stores - the eighth market in which the chain is active. A further expansion is planned soon, at the same time as the company is taking its first steps into e-commerce.
Same products everywhere
Action's first two stores in Czechia opened at the same time, in Hradec Králové and Kladno. Three more stores will join suit in the next three weeks. While its expansion into its eighth country has barely started, number nine - Italy - is almost ready to go as well. "We expect to add another five countries soon", CEO Sander Van der Laan told Dutch news website NU.nl.
"We always add new countries according to the same rule - they have to be neighbouring a country which we are already active in", the CEO says. He adds that this makes it easier to scale up - also helped by the fact that 95 % of the product range is available in every country.
The chain hopes to achieve further growth this year, opening an additional 100 stores this year, while also performing its first tests with e-commerce in Belgium and France. Still, the discounter has its doubts about a fully functional webshop, as it is "bloody difficult" to avoid heavy losses when delivering cheap items at home. Hence, Action's current e-commerce trials are testing consumers' mood towards click-and-collect in ten stores. The tests are necessary, the CEO added, as in the first wave of Covid-19, the company was its (offline) sales drop by 75 % without the possibility to compensate online.