BRNO, Czech Republic -- Ahold has bought 11 supermarket outlets through a privatization project in this country's North Moravia region. The 11 stores were previously leased by Ahold. They will be converted into Mana supermarkets, the store format operated by Euronova, the Czech subsidiary of Ahold.
With the acquisition of the 11 sites, Ahold now fully owns 17 stores in this nation. The company leases premises for 12 other stores and operates a total of 29 stores in the Czech Republic, including two cash and carry units. Ahold, an international food retailer based in Zaandam, Netherlands, has slowly but steadily added to its presence in this nation, expanding from 22 stores in September 1993 to 29 units in January. The company also operates two distribution centers in the Czech Republic.
Ahold entered the Czech Republic with its first modern Mana supermarket in June 1991. The store was built in the city of Jihlava.
"The idea for Mana is to attain a critical mass," a spokesman for Ahold said. "It will be slow but steady growth there."
About 20 of the Ahold units operate under the Mana name -- which translates as "bread from heaven" -- and the intention is to slowly convert all stores to the Mana format, the spokesman said.
Ahold's Czech stores accounted for sales of between 65 million and 70 million guilders (between $34 million and $36 million) in 1993. Operating results in 1993 for the Czech stores improved but losses continued, Ahold said in its year-end results statement.
Currently, about 95% of all products and supplies for the Mana supermarkets are bought directly from Czech suppliers. The largest Mana supermarket has an assortment of about 4,000 different products in grocery, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables.