German retailer Metro Cash & Carry has launched its franchise program for a new convenience store format under the brand ‘La doi pasi’ (in approximate translation, two steps away). So far, 200 stores have joined the franchise and 80 are already running under the pilot program in 40 localities across Romania.
The aim is to support traditional trade, but it might also mean that Metro Cash & Carry is ensuring a sales pipeline from the franchised units. The retailer addresses a market of around 70,000 traditional stores.
Metro Cash & Carry, one of the main sources of supply for small, convenience stores in Romanian cities, makes its market entry just after the demise of a similar franchise, the Mic.ro network. The retailer, owned by businessman Dinu Patriciu, recently asked for insolvency, after expanding to hundreds of stores under the brand.
Unlike Mic.ro, where the distribution was centralized and most of the stores operated by the same company, each of the franchise units under the brand ‘La Doi Pasi’ will be independently run. Metro will offer training courses, consultancy on choosing products, price monitoring, as well as marketing assistance. The owners of the franchised store cover the cost of refurbishing the stores, but remain financially separate.
The franchise program follows a trade support and partnership concept launched by Metro Cash & Carry in 2008, which helped 2,000 clients reshape their stores, said Marc Carena, client management director with Metro Cash & Carry. The retailer runs similar franchise programs, under local brands, in Poland and Bulgaria.
(photo source: La Doi Pasi Piata Amzei Facebook page)