Pepco files for bankruptcy in Austria – closing 73 stores and exiting the country

Photo courtesy Pepco

Pepco pulling out of Austria as market not profitable for the discount retailer

Sad news in Austria for the more than 600 employees of the Polish discount store chain Pepco this week, as the company filed for insolvency and then opened bankruptcy proceedings at the Vienna Commercial Court (Handelsgericht Wien) earlier today.

Pepco had already announced a week ago that they would be pulling out of the Austrian market due to their belief continuing to run stores in the country was not conducive to making a reasonable profit for the Polish company.

In a statement last week, Pepco had this to say about their business in Austria:

The group has today concluded that it will cease its operations in Austria, as it does not foresee that the Austrian market will reach the appropriate level of returns expected.

They stressed Austria’s high inflation, high operating costs, and the population being cautious when it comes to spending due to consumer confidence about the economy being low as factors in their decision.

Considering the first Pepco stores in Austria were only opened in 2021, the Polish company has made a fast decision about its future in the Alpine country, decided it did not look positive, and immediately gone on to do something about it.

That something means all 73 Pepco stores in Austria will be closed, and all 600-plus employees will lose their jobs.

Meanwhile, the country plans to continue with its expansion plans in other European countries, where its stores are performing much better than in Austria.

It currently plans to open at least 400 new stores in Europe and Asia by the end of 2024.

Pepco target of a phishing attack this week

The Pepco Group was also in the news today due to being the target of a successful Hungarian phishing attack that caused the company to lose 15 million euros (approximately $16.3 million).

With no idea if they will be able to recover the money lost, it has not turned out to be a very good week for the Polish retailer.

About Michelle Topham

I'm a journalist, and the founder of Oh My Vienna. I have been living in Vienna since 2016 as an immigrant, because 'expat' is just a fancy word that means exactly that.