Even if the real estate market in Romania started to feel the global economic woes, the status is not yet well-shaped in DIY retailers’ sales, said Isabelle Plecka, managing director with Bricostore Romania in an interview for Wall-Street.

She said that the most difficult period for this field would be the first quarter of 2009. “People who contracted mortgage loans before the financial crisis had started, are bound to continue their home improvement, and this is why the do-it-yourself market has not yet been affected by the fallout of the real estate sector”, said the representative of French-based retailer.

Even if the sales volume has not been affected by the global economic context, the year 2009 will not have a promising start for one of the biggest players in the domestic do-it-yourself market.

“The effects of the crisis will be more visible in first quarter, 2009 especially because the winter holidays period is not a profitable one for local DIY business. However, I think that starting April, the market will regain its dynamics”, she added.

The fact that Bricostore’s sales have not been hit by global crisis so far is reiterated by the year-to-date 30% growth in sales, up to 600 million lei, from first nine months last year.

Although she thinks there will be no recession in 2009, Pleska says the most affected fields will be car industry, real estate, home appliances market, and luxury industry.

In 2008, Bricostore Romania will open five units. “In May we opened a store in Arad, and in September in Braila, and we plan on opening three more units in the fourth quarter, to reaching 13 units”, she stated. Bricostore will officially open a new store in Suceava, in Iulius Mall, on November 26 in Focsani and on December 3 in Oradea. “The average investment in a new store hovers around 10 million euros, except for the branch in Baneasa, where we invested 14 million euros, as it stretches on 14,000 sqm , while the others are at 10.000 sqm”, Pleska explained.

Two of the stores that Bricostore will launch by yearend are in Moldova region, which seems to have high potential. “Many retailers heaped in Ardeal area and for several times, the outcomes were below the expectations, and this is why we focused on Moldova, where people are more orientated towards consumption”, stated Pleska, adding that the stores in Braila and Arad had a more difficult start-up.

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