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Greece’s Public opens first Cyprus store October 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Lifestyle, Shopping.
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Limassol to follow, third in Paphos > Greek company, Public, has opened its first store in Cyprus and plans to open two more in the near future, challenging the local bookstores and opening up a new market for home entertainment.

Many years ago, the limited choice for bookstores were the Moufflon and the Bridgehouse [later Soloneion] in Nicosia and Kyriacou Bookshops in Limassol. Recently though, despite the growing trend for online bookstores, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, this segment has grown to include Metropolitan and newcomer Savalas, with traditional bookshops now stocking stationery supplies, music and DVDs, while the chain of Play music stores has opened up in all towns.

Public’s flagship 1,700-square metre store opened in the ‘Mall of Cyprus’ in the Shacolas Emporium Park last month with an estimated 5,000 people visiting the books section that boasts 80,000 titles, as well as the home entertainment, music, games and computer departments on the first day.

The holding company, Publicworld SA, embarked on an ambitious recruitment drive and employs 35 staff at all levels, from mid-management department heads to marketing and sales, as well as engineers, cashiers and store keepers.

ICT Publicworld Ltd., owned directly by the Greek investor Panos Germanos, has pumped some 2,5 million euros into the Cyprus operations and plans to open its second Public store in Limassol and possibly a third one in Paphos. This is in line with the Group’s expansion plans to have a total of 15 stores in Greece and Cyprus by the end of 2011.

Hardware in stock include LCD TVs, home and portable DVD players and recorders, MP3 players, games and gadgets, 50,000 music CDs, 10,000 films and series on DVDs. The product mix on the shelves is about 60% for IT, home and communications technology, 20% for books and 20% for music and movies.

But it will have to work hard to attract the English-speaking consumers who are proportionally more than in Greece where Public has two stores and will open a new one in Athens’ Syntagma area scheduled for opening in early December.

The books section has a good selection of English-language books and recent bestsellers, but the children’s section is almost primarily Greek.

Public also attracts customers through its marketing gimmicks such as ‘in-store’ events, music downloading, digital photo printing and surfing the Internet through wireless hot spots, while it also plans to introduce new services such as ticket sales [cinema, theatres].

The only other shortcoming the store faces is the lack of magazines and newspapers, even though in the stores in Greece they do stock specialist magazines such as for music, art, architecture and technology.

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