List of supermarkets
Billa is a European supermarket chain operating in numerous countries and originating in Austria. It is owned by Germany's Rewe Group.
Billa in Austria
Billa was founded in 1953 by Karl Wlaschek under the name of WKW (Warenhandel Karl Wlaschek). The name Billa, standing for Billiger Laden (cheap store), was adopted in 1960. The chain grew quickly during the following decades, with turnover topping a billion Austrian shillings in 1970. In 1996, Billa was acquired by Rewe, and, following the demise of the Konsum and Meinl groups, became Austria's largest supermarket chain, with a market share of 35.8% in 2002. In some areas of the country, particularly in Vienna, it is safe to say that Billa is almost a monopolist, as hardly any supermarket other than Billa or any of its other franchises (Merkur, Mondo/Penny, Emma and Bipa) can be found.
While typical Billa markets are urban stores of about 450 square meters per outlet, hypermarkets of the group operate under the brand name Merkur.
Billa in Romania
Billa is owned by Rewe Group, which also operates XXL and Selgros outlets in Romania. Billa is one of the most widespread supermarkets in Romania, opening its first store in Bucharest in 1999. Since then, it has opened stores in:
There are also three stores in Bucharest. As of 2005, there are 16 stores in total. In 2001, Billa aimed to have opened 50 stores in Romania by 2005. While this goal seems impossible to achieve, the supermarket is expanding at a very fast rate.
Billa's stores are generally referred to as hypermarkets, due to their huge size and surroundings. For example, Billa's newest Bucharest store has an area of 2000 sq. metres, with a parking lot for 200 cars, employing 100 people and selling 7500 products. The company's marketing motto is Billa - Cel mai bun pentru mine (Billa - The best for me), which outlines the nature of the chain, which is to provide the best quality products at low prices. Along with a huge amount of investment in the Romanian market, Billa recorded a profit of 5.99 million new lei (1.6 million euro) in 2001.
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