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Dragan Čigoja, Lidl Srbija CEO

Proud Of The First Five Years

In just five years, Lidl Serbia has opened a total of 67 supermarkets in 38 cities, which are supplied from two modern-equipped and “green” logistics centres. The company’s 3,300 employees comprise a unique Lidl team that works on a daily basis to provide a unique shopping experience and the best quality-to-cost ratio for all consumers, for which Lidl is recognised around the world

You are this month commemorating five years of operations in Serbia. Have you managed, as a company, to realise all plans; and has our market met your expectations?

– It is particularly satisfying to celebrate five years of successful operations, considering the pandemic and the health challenges we’ve faced.

Despite the circumstances, we managed to implement plans at the projected tempo and to improve our processes and systems from year to year, thus enabling us to achieve even greater efficiency in every segment of the business.

And have consumers been satisfied with Lidl over the past five years?

– This is indeed the most important issue for us. We measure success precisely on the basis of consumer satisfaction, which is why we, at Lidl, are proudest of the fact that, according to Gfk research for 2023, we have become the first choice of the largest number of consumers for daily grocery shopping. According to the same research, Lidl also ranks top when it comes to overall consumer satisfaction, while customers also rated us number one in the categories of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as bakeries. These results show that consumers are satisfied with us, and we will certainly continue nurturing and improving on the trust they’ve placed in us.

Your slogan “Simple. Better. More Affordable” indicates that you prioritise the needs of your customers?

– We strive to ensure that, when observing shopping baskets containing products of comparable quality, the basket of goods purchased at our shops is the most affordable. Apart from price, from day one we’ve also provided consumers with the best quality-to-cost ratio.

We strive to ensure that, when observing shopping baskets containing products of comparable quality, the basket of goods purchased at our shops is the most affordable

I believe that over the past five years, because of all of this, we have been simpler, better and more affordable, with the promise that we will continue listening to the needs of our customers. We will also do so through our loyalty programmes, such as Lidl plus, through special segments of the product range, such as our “Free from” brand, which contains a rich offer of gluten-free products, and through other trends in the food industry.

Despite being a German company, you haven’t overlooked domestic suppliers in your operations, while at the same time you’ve also had a positive impact on our country’s exports…

– One of our primary goals – as an international company that acts responsibly towards the countries in which it operates – was to secure products from domestic suppliers that satisfy our high standards of quality. That’s why more than 100 domestic suppliers now contribute products to our range, while, for example, our specially created ‘S ljubavlju, domaće’ [With love, domestic] range of products has almost 100 different items.

On top of all that, in terms of exports, the quality of our products and suppliers has proved exceptional and has contributed to us currently exporting more than 20 products, such as dessert dumplings, baked goods, cheeses, soups, tomato puree and frozen vegetables. This is certainly a direction that we want to retain and we are continuing to work on our exports being even greater, while we will now enjoy the birthday benefits that we’re preparing for our consumers and for our 3,300 colleagues throughout Serbia.

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