“The drop in buying power and the fact that the construction market has shrunk are giving DIY retailers a hard time. For these reasons, Obi is planning to leave Romania in 2014″, sources stated for Mediafax.
Obi representatives have said that they’re not considering “for the time being” exiting the Romanian market.
If it materializes, Obi’s departure would represent a new move on the local DIY market after in April 2013, Kingfisher bought the 15 stores belonging to the Bricostore Romania Chain. Also, in February, Praktiker announced that it sold its operations in Romania to Search Chemicals, owned by Turkish businessman, Omer Susli.
Obi entered Romania in 2008 when it opened its first store. In the following two years, the chain grew by six more units, opened in Bucharest (2), Arad, Pitesti, Ploiesti and Sibiu.
Between 2008 and 2012, Obi’s Romanian business grew every year, from 18.5 million to RON 182.2 million. Obi also recorded losses worth RON 270 million in the same time period. At the end of 2012, the company had a number of 636 employees and RON 56 million in losses. (source: business-review.eu)