From Our Members

New wave of Żabka openings takes store tally past 8,500

Boguchwałowice in Silesia, 35 kilometres from Katowice, which has a population of just 752, is currently the smallest settlement to boast a Żabka store.

Polish retailer Żabka opened 577 new stores in the first half of 2022, bringing the chain’s total number of outlets to over 8,500. More than 7,200 are operated by franchisees, which the firm says is contributing to the development of micro and small businesses in Poland.

“We continue our development,” says Adam Manikowski, managing director of Żabka Polska. “Not only are we opening more sites, but we are also investing in new store formats, improving franchise offer, and innovative solutions.

“Our chain already has more than 8,500 stores, and we are launching new facilities in places that allow us to be as close to customers as possible. In our portfolio, we have various types of stores: office buildings, transit points, traffic locations, and gas stations. At the same time, we are implementing several projects which are part of our Responsibility Strategy, one of the main areas of which is to increase the satisfaction of franchisees.”

Żabka is opening stores not only in towns and cities but also in small villages.

Boguchwałowice in Silesia, 35 kilometres from Katowice, where the 8,500th store is located, is a village on the Przeczycko-Siewierski lagoon and has a population of just 752. It is currently the smallest place where a Żabka store has been launched.

“A store run in the smallest village in Poland is a huge challenge for me, but an even bigger opportunity,” says franchisee Mateusz Karcz, pictured above in front of his store.

“I come from a small village and I appreciate the great potential of this type of place, especially in the context of running a store. A small village means there are trusted and permanent customers who build a local community. On the other hand, my store is located on a fairly busy route, a route between important cities of the province, close to the popular lagoon. In this I see a great chance for the success of my Żabka store with numerous visits from both local customers and tourists.”

Innovative formats

The Żabka portfolio includes various store formats. In the first half of this year, Żabka debuted with a vending machine in one of Warsaw’s private hospitals, and also presented a completely new concept – a trading post for shopping malls.

The chain has also been opening seasonal stores – during the holidays there are 90 facilities in tourist destinations. Mobile Żabka stores have also moved to Poland, which will make an appearance at Męskie Granie concerts in eight Polish cities.

The chain’s offer is complemented by unmanned autonomous stores – currently, 50 Żabka Nano stores are already in operation; they are innovative establishments supported by artificial intelligence, which makes Żabka Group the largest network of autonomous stores in Europe.

At the same time, the chain has made many investments in technological solutions to improve the work of franchisees.

In the Smart Żabka store operating at Półwiejska Street in Poznań, the chain is testing spill sensors, automatic temperature measurement, energy consumption measurement, and communication via headphones. These solutions free up franchisees’ time, allow them to focus on customer service, and at the same time are friendly to the planet.

After analysing the results, Żabka plans to choose the most effective solutions and adapt them in more stores.

Sustainable solutions

In the first half of this year, in all Żabka stores, dual self-service checkouts were also installed – making Żabka one of the largest chains in terms of the number of self-service cash registers in Europe. Thanks to the availability of these modern checkouts, store staff can focus on improving customer service or other responsibilities, and customers can be served faster.

Żabka is also constantly developing its logistics network. Near Radzymin close to Warsaw it is building one of the most technologically advanced warehouses in this part of Europe. By using renewable zero-carbon energy sources, including solar panels on the roof and trigeneration units, the warehouse will be 100 per cent self-sufficient in terms of electricity demand.

In June this year, Żabka entered the next stage of its activities aimed at the commissioning of the facility – it started recruiting workers. Thanks to this investment, more than 600 people will find work in the region – employed directly by Żabka or its cooperating companies.

This content has been produced in collaboration with an Emerging Europe partner organisation.