Danish discounter Netto is ramping up its assault on Sweden amid plans to double its store estate in the country within 10 years.
Netto, which is owned by Dansk Supermarked Group (DSG), currently operates 157 stores in the Swedish market, but bosses have revealed targets to open 10 new stores next year and 15 per year from 2018.
The expansion plans were unveiled just days after its joint venture with Sainsbury’s came to an abrupt end, two years after it returned to the UK.
The discounter had 16 stores in the north of England, all of which will close after Sainsbury’s called time on the partnership, leaving DSG to focus its attention on other countries.
Netto entered Sweden in 2002 and initially struggled to gain a foothold in the market, reporting years of losses.
But 2015 marked a significant year for the retailer as profits from its Swedish operations soared to 82m DKr (£9.39m), on sales of 3.8bn DKr (£440m).
Now Netto is bidding to turn up the heat on its main discount rival the ICA group, which holds around half of the grocery market in Sweden.
However, the discounters only account for less than 7% of overall supermarket sales in Sweden, compared with 40% in Denmark.
Bent Holm, managing director of Netto’s Swedish business, told Scandinavian media: “We have a very aggressive investment plan in Sweden, where we see great potential.
“Next year we will open 10 new stores, and then the goal is 15 new stores per year. I see no obstacles to Netto Sweden reaching the same size as it is in Denmark.”
Holm added: “Discount is relatively new in the country, but now the Swedes are getting used to the concept.”
Netto currently has around 440 stores in its homeland and DSG is expected to invest billions of Danish kroner into expanding its Swedish portfolio over the next decade as it creeps towards the level of exposure it has in Denmark.