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Croatian retailer Studenac acquires Lonia and launches digital strategy

Croatian retailer Studenac acquires Lonia and launches digital strategy

(Photo: Studenac)

Studenac buys Lonia, sets up digital unit to support network of 1,000+ stores

  • Studenac completes acquisition of 300-store chain
  • Number of outlets has almost tripled in past three years
  • Company announces digital transformation strategy for further development of the network and improvement of commercial offer 

Omiš, Croatia, June 6 2022 – Studenac Market completed its acquisition of Lonia Trgovina, building its store network to more than 1,000 to strengthen its position as Croatia’s largest retailer by number of outlets, and announced a strategy of digital transformation to develop its expanded network and enhance customer loyalty.

“We are excited to welcome the Lonia team into our growing Studenac family, in the most recent chapter of our impressive growth story,” said Studenac Board President Michał Seńczuk. “Studenac is becoming a true nationwide retailer, and we are looking forward to a few months of hard but rewarding work as we integrate Lonia.”

With the acquisition, Studenac, based in the coastal city of Omiš, added 300 locations, bringing headcount to more than 5,500. Studenac has almost tripled its store count since it was bought in 2018 by private equity fund Enterprise Investors, expanding nationwide through takeovers and organic growth. 

Enterprise Investors has invested more than €260 million euros in Studenac, including €120 million for acquisitions.

“Lonia is exceptionally important for the Zagreb market, with excellent locations and great potential, which means it fits perfectly into our story,” Seńczuk added. “The network provides an ideal platform for further growth in this region based on our proximity format, where we have the largest market share.”

Croatian retailer Studenac acquires Lonia and launches digital strategy

(Photo: Studenac)

Following the acquisition, whose value wasn’t disclosed, Studenac plans to complete the integration and rebranding of the entire Lonia network. Over the medium term it will establish a distribution center in the north of Croatia to serve the new locations.

The purchase of 100% of Lonia follows the February acquisition of Pemo and takeovers of Kordun in April and Duravit in May. After today’s deal Studenac is present in 16 of Croatia’s 20 counties, in addition to the capital city of Zagreb.

Studenac forecasts that pro forma revenue will exceed €500 million this year, placing it among Croatia’s top six retailers. The company also continues to expand organically, with plans to open 100 stores this year.

Like retailers around Europe, Studenac is responding to trends including faster inflation, higher price sensitivity, more diverse consumer preferences and shoppers’ greater focus on health, premium offers and sustainability. 

Part of the company’s response to those trends is the new digital unit, which will serve as a center of excellence for advanced analytics and innovations.

“Our digital unit is key to solving a number of the challenges we face,” Seńczuk said. “It will help us tailor our product range and pricing, building localized and personalized offerings and helping us communicate that information to shoppers through channels including our mobile app. Building a network this large has convinced us that digital transformation isn’t just a buzzword, it’s essential to delivering what our customers expect from us.”

Croatian retailer Studenac acquires Lonia and launches digital strategy

Michal Senczuk (Photo: Studenac)

Studenac Digital will develop solutions to manage the company’s expanding network, gathering and processing data to help drive decision-making in areas such as category management, pricing and promotions.

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