Balkan chain store expands loyalty scheme services
Mercator, a major retail chain in Southeast Europe, has started operations in a processing agreement which will enable it to offer extended loyalty card services. Mercator operates more than 1,500 hypermarkets, supermarkets and grocery stores in the Balkans. Payments processor First Data is providing issuing processing services for Mercator’s loyalty programme ‘Mercator Pika’, which was launched a decade ago and has over one million members.
The agreement with First Data also covers payment cards. The launch of the services, which are now live in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, came 10 months after First Data signed a processing agreement with Mercator.
The agreement also covers network services and acquiring processing across all geographies, enabling Mercator’s stores to accept payment cards from all the major international and domestic schemes in the region.
Matija Vojsk, an advisor to Mercator’s management board, said: “Mercator aims to create benefits for our customers by providing excellent retail services, high-quality goods and competitive prices across southeast Europe. Mercator Pika Card is a customer benefit programme that has been very successful since its introduction to the market.“
He added that the agreement would enable it to deliver additional loyalty benefits through the Pika Card and to create a competitive advantage with its planned entry into new geographic markets.
The Mercator Group claims to be the leading commercial chain in Slovenia and also operates in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It entered the Macedonian market in 2005.
It predominantly constructs shopping malls in capitals and regional centers exhibiting the largest potential in terms of the number of residents and purchasing power. In doing so, the company says it strives to attain a considerable market share in a short period of time, becoming the first or second largest fast-moving consumer goods retailer in each market.