Metro to open 10 new stores in Greece, ready for Cyprus

Supermarket company Metro My Market is on the look out for new sites to open stores in northern Greece as part of expansion plans but will shy away from super sized outlets that consumers have been turning their back on, chief executive Aristotelis Panteliadis said Wednesday.

Speaking to journalists, Panteliades said that the group's My Market brand plans to open ten more stores in 2017 after having already opened two branches so far this year.

The company prefers to rent property, rather than purchase real estate, said Panteliades, adding that there are many potential properties on offer due to the large number of tenants having gone bankrupt or moving to cheaper premises.

Greece's supermarket industry has been going through a major shift due to the country's economic crisis. The country's largest supermarket, Marinopoulos, was recently taken over by peer Sklavenitis. Metro My Market also took over the Veropoulos supermarket chain, boosting its total store number to 273 across Greece.

The biggest drop in sales Metro My Market has seen has been in its super sized stores, spreading over 2,500 sqaure meters, that were opened in the decade up to 2005, added Panteliades. Consumers are now showing a preference for mid to small sized outlets.

The company is also expanding abroad, with construction of its first store in Cyprus expected to start in September in what Panteliades described as "a small but dynamic market."