Konzum Has a Mexican Doppelganger

Total Croatia News

If you happen to visit Mexico, you might find yourselves in a strangely familiar store chain.

Far from the news about business problems surrounding Konzum and its owner Agrokor, a business story from Mexico brings a different angle to the Croatia’s largest retail chain, reports Poslovni.hr on March 26, 2017.

The story involves a chain of small convenience stores named Konsumo, whose green-red logo is almost identical to the Konzum’s logo. Two years ago, as part of the same project, the “K plus” brand was registered, which is also the name of Konzum’s brand.

Asked whether the Mexican project is connected with Agrokor and whether any royalties are being paid to Konzum in Croatia, the company said that it had nothing to do with the Mexican chain. There was no answer whether this meant that someone had illegally usurped the brand and the main recognizable features of the logo.

However, there many strange coincidences in this story. The Konsumo project in Mexico was launched in 2014, a year after Agrokor entered into a partnership with Mexican investors and TUI in the hotel business (Karisma Hotels Adriatic). As stated at the Mexican website, Konsumo has been developed by “investors from Mexico and Europe with exceptional experience in the retail sector”. In addition, according to electronic databases of business information, Konsumo is associated with the company Croamex, whose responsible person (commercial director) is a Marino Jurić.

On his LinkedIn profile, Marino Jurić states that he is the founder of Konsumo. He is an economist who graduated from the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb. In his CV, he claims that, before Konsumo, he worked for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, a global investment bank with which Agrokor worked together extensively in its international financial operations.

In addition to the statement about the business model being developed by investors from Mexico and Europe, the Konsumo’s website presents ambitious plans. From 30 outlets (in 2016), the project plans to spread across the country in the mid-term, through organic growth, acquisitions and regional franchises.

It seems that franchises are the preferred model of expansion. According to the conditions published on the website, they include the total value of investments between 1.1 and 1.5 million dollars. As a medium-term objective, Konsumo plans to have 200 outlets by the end of 2019.

It remains to be seen what position will Agrokor and Konzum take with regards to the project and whether there will be any lawsuits coming.


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