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11. 11. 09. - 11:00

Billa starts small shop pilot project

By Thomas Hochwarter

Supermarket chain Billa has started a pilot project shop in Vienna today (Tues) in a bid to attract a new sort of customer.

Billa chief Volker Hornsteiner explained the new "Billa box" shop at Garnisonsgasse in Vienna-Alsergrund which opened this morning is considerably smaller than general Billa shops and mainly offers drinks, coffee to go and snacks.

Hornsteiner said he planned to open more "Billa box" stores all across Austria if the project turned out to be a success.

Business experts regard the move as an attack on fast food restaurants and bakeries like Anker and Strck that are popular especially with young people for their snack range.

The Billa CEO also said 49 Billa stores all over the country were being renovated this year. Hornsteiner said that considering closures and openings there will be 1,000 shops at the end of the year.

Founded by Vienna businessman Karl Wlaschek in 1953, Austrian market leader Billa is part of the German Rewe group.

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