Pewex ‘Internal Export’ Shops
Introduced in the 1970s and existing right through until the early 1990s in Poland was a chain of ‘Internal Export’ shops named Pewex (Przedsiębiorstwo Eksportu Wewnętrznego). An unusual name as the letter x is not present in the Polish alphabet. These shops sold otherwise unobtainable western goods in exchange for Western currencies, such as German Deutschmarks, United States Dollars or bank cheques issued by the state-owned bank PEKAO. Polish zloties were not accepted. Pewex shops could be found in virtually every town in Poland were the only stores selling foreign goods during the communist period.
Despite this any Pole of a certain age will probably still have a soft spot for these PEWEX stores where everything from toilet rolls to colour televisions and imported Marlboro cigarettes could be purchased by anyone in possession of enough hard currency. In addition to imported goods, Pewex shops also sold high quality Polish products including vodka and Krakus brand goods such as tinned ham.
The Pewex chain of shops was privatised in the early 1990s and soon afterwards went bankrupt.
A Biedronka supermarket in western Poland. Most Polish towns have at least one Biedronka store.
With more than 2,400 shops and more than 35,000 employees the Portuguese supermarket Biedronka is probably the largest chain of food stores in Poland. Biedronka sells mainly Biedronka own label products, which appeal to its mainly lower-income customers looking for no-thrills, basic food at a reasonable price. Although, foreign-owned the majority of its goods are produced in Poland. The word Biedronka is the Polish word for a ladybird.
Other supermarkets present in multiple Polish towns include: Aldi, Auchan, Intermarche, Kaufland, Lidl, Netto, Piotr i Pawel, Plus, Spar, Tesco, Żabka.
Tesco currently employ more than 30,000 people and operate more than from 450 stores in Poland. Their products and range, although very competitively priced, probably appeals to customers looking for more than basic supermarkets generally offer. Tesco offer their own range of Tesco-branded line of food and clothing, as well as a large range of branded food, electronics, household goods, and at many of their stores, petrol and diesel fuel. They opened their first Polish store in 1995 and have supermarkets, hypermarkets and also offer online delivery. Many of the items they offer for sale are produced in Poland.
Other supermarkets present in multiple Polish towns include: Aldi, Auchan, Biedronka, Intermarche, Kaufland, Lidl, Netto, Piotr i Pawel, Plus, Spar, Żabka.
An Intermarche ‘super’ store in Sulecin, Lubuskie, western Poland. This store also has an attached filling station.
Intermarche are a French-owned chain of supermarkets and hypermarkets found throughout Poland. They currently have 145 stores and as such an intermarche can be found in most Polish towns and cities. Intermarché probably appeals more to middle-class customers with its fairly extensive range, specialist fresh products and in-store bakeries. Les Mousquetaires, the parent company also owns the Netto group of stores, which is clearly targeted at lower-income shoppers.
Other supermarkets present in multiple Polish towns include: Aldi, Auchan, Biedronka, Kaufland, Lidl, Netto, Piotr i Pawel, Plus, Spar, Tesco, Żabka.