Billa (supermarket)

BILLA (German pronunciation: [ˈbɪla] (About this soundlisten)) is an Austrian supermarket chain that operates in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe.[1] The company was founded by Karl Wlaschek in 1953. He sold his controlling interest to Germany's REWE Group in 1996.[2]

Billa AG
HeadquartersWiener Neudorf, Lower Austria, Austria
Number of locations
3,645 stores (2014)
Key people
Robert Nagele,
Elke Wilgmann
RevenueIncrease 13.02 billion (2014)
OwnerREWE International AG
Number of employees
76,174 (2014)
Billa at Vienna airport
Billa flagship store in Vienna


In 1953 Karl Wlaschek opened a discount perfume shop in the Vienna district of Margareten called WKW (Warenhandel Karl Wlaschek, translatable as Karl Wlaschek Trading). By 1960 WKW had 45 stores in Austria. In 1961 the chain was renamed Billa, a portmanteau of "billiger Laden", German for 'cheap shop',[3] started selling food and went over to self-service. In 1965 the company had grown to 109 stores. REWE Group acquired Billa in 1996.[4]

Present locationsEdit

Billa operates stores in four European countries:

Country No. of stores
Austria 1,102
Czech Republic 236
Slovakia 145
Bulgaria 121


Austria is the chain's home market. As of March 2019 Billa had 1,069 stores in the country, second only to SPAR's 1,538.

Czech RepublicEdit

The first Billa supermarket in the Czech Republic was opened in Stránského Street, Brno, on 26 October 1991. The company has 215 stores in the country and employs over 6,000 staff. Billa stores have an average sales area of 900 m2.[5]


Billa opened its first store in Slovakia in 1993.[6]


The company opened its first supermarket in Bulgaria in 2000 and has since then expanded to cover 38 Bulgarian cities, operating a total of 131 supermarkets as of June 2020.

Former locationsEdit

Billa operated in other countries in the past.

Country No. of stores Sold to Year sold
Russia 161 Lenta 2021[7]
Italy 136 Carrefour (53)

Conad (50)
others (33)

Romania 86 Carrefour 2015[11]
Croatia 62 Spar 2016[12]
Ukraine 35 Novus 2020[13][14]
Hungary 21 Spar 2002[15][16]
Poland 14 E.Leclerc 2009[17]


The first Billa supermarket in Russia opened in 2004. In 2008, the network for the first time went outside of Moscow. In the same year, thirteen Yum-Yum supermarkets in Moscow were purchased.

In 2012, Billa bought the Russian supermarket chain Citistor (part of the former Ramstor chain).

Since 2008, all new Rewe Group stores in Russia in the "supermarket" format have been opened not under the Billa brand, but under the Biop (Billa Operations) brand. The reason is that only Billa Russia LLC had the right to develop the Billa brand in Russia, but one of the partners (22.5 %) — the Russian holding "Marta" - since the end of 2008 stopped investing in the development of the company due to the beginning of the bankruptcy procedure. In June 2010, this package was purchased from "Marta".

On January 27, 2011, the official renaming of all the stores of the Biop chain to the Bill stores took place In 2018, 151 Billa stores were opened in Russia. In 2021, before the deal with Lenta, there were 161 stores operating across Russia mostly in Moscow and surrounding cities.[18] The holding company Lenta LLC announced on May 18 that it had struck a deal to acquire the supermarkets business of Billa Russia GmbH for 215 millions € in cash.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 30.05.2006, 00:00 (2006-05-30). "Unternehmen & Märkte « Archiv «". Retrieved 2015-09-23.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Rewe of Germany Buys Austrian Grocery Chain". New York Times. 18 July 1996. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  3. ^ "BILLA, sagt der Hausverstand". Retrieved 2015-09-23.
  4. ^ Jandrasits, Franz (1 June 2015). "Billa-Gründer Karl Wlaschek ist tot (Billa founder Karl Wlaschek is dead)". Kurier (in German). Vienna: Telekurier Online Medien GmbH & Co KG. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  5. ^ Billa homepage: "About us" (in Czech)
  6. ^ Billa homepage: "Who we are" (in Slovak)
  7. ^ a b "Russian supermarket business rapidly consolidating as Lenta buys Billa Russia to become second-largest chain in Moscow". 2021-05-19. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  8. ^ "Rewe sells Billa supermarkets in Italy". Fresh Plaza. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Carrefour buys 53 Billa supermarkets in Italy from Rewe". Reuters. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Rewe sells further Billa stores to Conad". IGD Retail Analysis. Institute of Grocery Distribution. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Romania: French Carrefour supermarket chain buys Billa Romania, owned by German Rewe group". New Europe. Associated Press. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  12. ^ Garaca, Maja (16 December 2016). "Spar Hrvatska acquires 62 Billa stores". SeeNews. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Официально. Novus приобрел Billa: начинается процесс слияния". LIGA (in Russian). 2020-12-01. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  14. ^ Retrieved 2021-03-24. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "SPAR acquires 13 Billa stores in Hungary". JustFood. 1 November 2002. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  16. ^ "Ungarische Billa-Märkte wurden an Spar verkauft". Wiener Zeitung (in German). 12 September 2002. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Rewe Group sells supermarkets in Poland to E.Leclerc". FoodBev Media. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  18. ^ «Билла» открыла 151 магазин в России.

External linksEdit