Attica eyes Thessaloniki branch despite shrinking market

Department store Attica is looking to move ahead with its 2.4-million-euro investment plan this year in a bid to boost its presence in Greece?s retail market.

Earlier this year, the retailer secured the exclusive distribution rights in Greece for Italian fur goods company Furla and is planning to set up a retail chain to sell the products.

Attica is also looking to open a branch in Thessaloniki in addition to its current operations in the center of Athens and the Golden Hall mall in the northern suburb of Maroussi.

Based on the belief that the crisis has created opportunities, Konstantinos Lambropoulos, managing director at Attica, said that the company plans to create a new branch in the northern port city if it manages to find a suitable location.

With no bank loans and cash reserves in excess of 20 million euros, Attica is in a position to finance new investments, said Lambropoulos. That is where the company?s advantage lies during this difficult economic period.

In the first four months of the year, Attica?s sales were down 10 percent from last year while revenues at its Golden Hall branch were steady, according to Lambropoulos.

Looking ahead, he expects Attica?s sales to dip 15 percent in 2011 but sees the company as remaining profitable.

In 2010, sales retreated 6.5 percent year-on-year to 128 million euros and pretax profit dropped to 5.5 million euros from 6 million euros in the previous year.

With some 3 million customers visiting both Attica stores every year and the retailer managing to remain in the black, Lambropoulos is upbeat about the prospects of large retail centers due to the variety of goods and conveniences offered to customers.

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