Moving Boundaries

Local Supply in Romania – Only Two Steps Away

19.5 million people live in Romania – almost half of them in rural areas. Small, owner-managed local supply stores are an important part of everyday life here. They are places where people meet and often form the heart of the communities. People do not only meet here for shopping – they also establish networks. Since 2012, METRO Romania has been part of this network with the retail franchise LaDoiPasi, which now has more than 1,000 partners.

A long road runs alongside fields and power poles to Gornet in the Prahova district, about 100 kilometres north of Bucharest. In the distance, the foothills of the Carpathian mountains protrude into the rural sky. Somewhere on this street, where it is lined with houses, there is a school and just a few metres away is a small shop owned by Elena Mocanu. At lunchtime the local pupils like to come here to eat warm pastries from Elena’s new oven. An orange-green logo is lit up above the entrance, displaying a name that is well known in Romania: ‘LaDoiPasi’.
Children waiting for food

‘LaDoiPasi’: economic independence with close collaboration

LaDoiPasi, which translates to ‘two steps away’, is a so-called soft franchise model, which means that the partners remain economically independent in their collaboration with METRO. In order to qualify as a franchise partner, they must meet certain requirements.

For example, they must have a sales floor of at least 60 square metres in a clearly visible and easily accessible location. METRO provides advice for proper planning of the product range and supplies the products. It also provides support for reconstruction measures and store design and helps with national marketing campaigns. In collaboration with partners, METRO organises additional services such as a service for paying bills on site or disposing of batteries safely.

‘Independent traders and our LaDoiPasi franchise partners are the focus of our attention,’ says Roland Ruffing, CEO METRO Romania. A product range geared towards the needs of traders and their customers, different packaging units than those required by restaurateurs, for example, ‘and always with the goal to offer our customers the best goods at the best price’ – LaDoiPasi is METRO’s response to the demand of the local Romanian population for uncomplicated, high-quality local supply.

‘We help small businesses so they can stay competitive.’

Elena Pantiru from Poduri, a small town in the eastern Bacau county has also been a LaDoiPasi franchise partner since the very beginning. In addition to the wide range of products and offers tailored precisely to the needs of her customers, she particularly appreciates the good relationship with her personal consultant at METRO: ‘He finds a solution for every problem!’ Since she joined the franchise network, her sales have increased and her customer base has grown. ‘With the support of METRO, I can make my customers happy and fulfil their wishes faster’, she says.
For Geanina Ghiculescu, Head of Retail Marketing at METRO Romania, LaDoiPasi is a way of life. ‘We want to provide our customers with an optimal assortment of fresh and convenient products at all times and motivate our franchise partners to do the same for their customers,’ she says.

‘Our partners are as diverse and different as their customers. And our challenge is to constantly adapt to new circumstances and new customer demands. With the LaDoiPasi concept we help small shops retain their competitive edge in a market dominated by big international retail chains. What we do makes me proud every day.’ In return, METRO Romania expects from its franchise partners retail experience, growth potential and financial stability as well as the ambition and desire to grow.

Making customers’ lives easier

Elena Mocanu has been part of the LaDoiPasi family since 2013 and supplies her village with more than fresh products and daily necessities. ‘I think it’s important to provide people with additional services that make their lives easier,’ she says to explain why she delivers the purchases to her customers’ homes when they cannot carry them. She is proud, too: In 2018, her store became the first ‘Premium’ franchise partner in the Prahova region. This upgrade allowed her to redesign the sales floor and purchase an oven – the one she uses to bake the pastries the local pupils love to eat.

Taking a product from the shelf

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