November 24 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian food retailer Piccadilly, majority-owned by Serbian diversified group Delta Holding, will start offering franchise opportunities next year, Sofia-based business daily Dnevnik (www.dnevnik.bg) reported in its print edition on Tuesday.
The company has already signed several franchise agreements with shopping mall investors and will expand the franchise concept to cover its Piccadilly Express compact retail format as well, Dnevnik said.
Under the terms of the company's franchising model, the franchisee will manage the respective store while Piccadilly will be in charge of the merchandise selection and supplies, Dnevnik added.
Rival retailers Billa Bulgaria and CBA are also developing franchise concepts of their own, Dnevnik also said, quoting local weekly Capital.
CBA is already testing its franchise model and should unveil its new concept within the next six months while Billa is expected to start looking for franchise partners over the next two years.
Piccadilly had a market share of 20% in Bulgaria by the end of 2008, according to company data.
The company currently operates 23 Piccadilly supermarkets and four Piccadilly Express outlets - three in Sofia and one in Varna, on the Black Sea.
Its competitors in Bulgaria also include the local units of Slovenia's Mercator, France's Carrefour, Germany's Kaufland, Lidl, Plus, Penny Market, Metro Cash & Carry and HIT, Lithuania's Maxima, as well as smaller Bulgarian players like Fantastiko and Elemag. No data is available on the market share of those retailers.