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STRONGER COOPERATION OF VELPRO CENTERS AND SMALL CROATIAN SHOPHOLDERS

Almost three years ago Agrokor started a large strategic partnership project with small shopholders. The aim of this project was to help maintaining the competitiveness of small shopholders primarily by transferring best conditions in purchasing that were formerly inaccessible to each of them individually due to the volume of their business. Today the VELPRO project is continued through further organization and transfer of additional benefits to small shopholders, while strengthening partnerships with domestic producers. With the cooperation to date Agrokor has already demonstrated that it also additionally strengthens its idea of strategic partnership with large Croatian producers, as VELPRO becomes a strong distribution channel for Croatian products on their way to a large number of small shops and through them to the enduser as well. Velpro, the partner for professionals, is primarily intended to meet the needs of small and medium-sized shopholders, legal persons and tradesmen who can supply themselves for the needs of their own businesses in one place. Today Velpro comprises 11 wholesale centers located in Zagreb, Varaždin, Rijeka, Poreč, Zadar, Šibenik, Split, Sinj and Osijek. In June this year VELPRO made the first step outside the borders of Croatia by opening its first VELPRO cash&carry in Sarajevo. At all VELPRO centers consumers can find a varied and rich assortment of more than 12,000 SKU's at very favorable prices in one place. Domestic products are represented with a share of more than 75% in the overall assortment. Believing in the future of Croatian retail, Agrokor has provided all shopholders with a new model of cooperation - VELPRO PARTNER. The major features of this model are not only the supply of goods from one place at most favorable prices, but also the provision of various consultancy services in terms of assortment, pricing, location, store appearance as well as the layout of goods on the shelves, definition of KPI's, marketing drives, prize contests and the like. It is a comprehensive partnership model enabling the transfer of advanced business standards to small shops, in the belief that this will be the very factor to help them survive and strengthen their market position in the midst of the forthcoming competition. It is the aim of Velpro to be the partner and adviser to shopholders at times of intensive retail market restructuring in Croatia and increasing expansion of foreign retail chains. Through its business Velpro shall enable shopholders, irrespective of their size, to find quality ways of improving their further operations in the fierce market race that has already started with the support of a strategic partner. Such active support shall keep alive the Croatian retail and along with it the Croatian manufacturing industry.

VELPRO has thus decided for the first time to help small shopholders also in organizing marketing activities for which they individually certainly do not have the strength. For this purpose a special prize contest has been created under the title "How to win 11 Škoda Fabia for HRK 25 only ...?" The prize contest starts on October 4 and lasts until October 21, 2004. VELPRO shall distribute prize coupons to all its customers (shopholders) for their shopping at all VELPRO centers, to be passed on to endusers by the stores. All small shops taking part in the prize contest shall be marked by a VELPRO Partner sticker, signifying to the endusers that during the prize contest they will get a prize coupon for each HRK 25 spent. For this prize contest Velpro shall provide a rich prize fund comprising 11 cars, 121 fridges, 121 TV-sets and 121 DVD players, 374 valuable prizes in total. Prize drawings shall take place weekly in all 11 VELPRO centers throughout Croatia. All coupons from the weekly draws shall also take part in the final drawing to be held in all VELPRO centers for the main prizes - Škoda Fabia cars.