October 8 (SeeNews) - Albania will get its first do-it-yourself (DIY) and home improvement centre at the end of this month, when German DIY chain operator Praktiker opens a store in Tirana, the German group said.
"This move will make Praktiker a pioneer in this market: so far there has been no comparable retail format – whether operated by a national or international corporation – in the whole country," the company said in a statement on its website.
The store with an area of some 8,700 square metres is scheduled to open on October 30 in the Albanian capital. It will be the 103rd international location of the Praktiker Group and Albania with its 3.2 million inhabitants will be the ninth foreign country in the international portfolio of the group.
"In this small market which is programmed for growth, Praktiker can fully draw on its competence advantage as a pioneer in the Southeast European DIY business, cultivate a field that is as yet untilled and at the same time contribute to the development of the construction and rehabilitation sector in Albania," Praktiker CEO Wolfgang Werner said in the statement.
"We clearly decelerated our international expansion under the impact of the global economic crisis, but we did not stop it. The market entry into Albania will enable us to further expand the dominating position of the Praktiker brand in that region from an improved starting position after the end of the crisis which is already on the horizon," Werner added.
Praktiker initially planned to open the DIY centre in Tirana last autumn but a delay in getting the building permit and slow construction progress delayed the opening.
The Praktiker Group operates around 440 home improvement and DIY centers in countries including also its home country of Germany, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary and Poland.