AB Vassilopoulos (AB), owned by the Belgian multinational Delhaize, Germany’s LIDL are both vying for second place in the Greek grocery retail market, with AB is hoping that its strategic growth plans will help pull it ahead.

First place is securely held by locally owned supermarket chain Sklavenitis, which has more than double the turnover of AB, the latter of which seems to be “stuck” at two billion euros per year, according to OT.gr.

AB brand manager Nikos Lavidas told OT.gr that one of the company’s plans is to further develop its private label in its four countries of operation in central and southeast Europe, namely, the Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia and Greece.

To this end, AB has already secured 20 partnership agreements with Greece-based producers to support their goal of exporting domestic fruits, vegetables and packaged products.

Locally produced kiwis, cucumbers, peppers, strawberries, oranges, mushrooms, peaches, nectarines and watermelon are some of the key produce the company expects to export.

Meanwhile, AB hopes to open expand its footprint in Greece in 2024 through the opening of two to three new outlets and franchising agreements.  Currently AB has 302 corporate-run supermarkets and 267 franchise outlets.

Primarily targeting small markets, AB notes that 12 markets have already changed their status to AB franchises and another 12 are in the pipeline for 2024, which will get AB halfway to its target of an additional 50 franchises.

Putting all of this into perspective and according to a 2023 KPMG report, Greece’s retail sector generated 54.15 billion in 2021 and is the second largest employer of all sectors.

It’s grocery retail sector brought in 13.1 billion euros in 2021 which was equal to 7.2% of Greek GDP in that year.