Greek firms look to greener pastures

More and more Greek companies looking to escape the murky domestic market are eyeing foreign markets in order to find their path to growth, recent developments have indicated.

The Fourlis Group of home furnishings and household goods retailers is looking at Turkey as a promising new market, which, in combination with Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus, may help the company achieve its target of roughly balancing its turnover evenly between the domestic and foreign markets. The group recently became involved in the clothing sector with the purchase of two chains, Intersport and New Look.

For the former, Fourlis is looking to expand the Intersport network in Turkey from 15 stores today to 50, while it is also planning to open 20 outlets in Romania and five in Bulgaria over a period of five to eight years.

The group is also set to launch an IKEA homestore in Bulgaria in early October.

Toy retailer Jumbo is also investing in the Balkans and is planning to open a new store in the Bulgarian city of Burgas by the end of the year, while it also plans to open another in the first half of 2012 at another location in the same country.

Likewise, jewelry retailer Folli Follie has expanded its horizons with a recent deal with China?s Fosun to expand its network of stores, as well as with Links of London.

ELVE Clothing, which exports collections to Europe, mainly to France and the United Kingdom, is aiming to increase its exports-to-turnover ratio to 50 percent from the current 45 percent.