The loss of Stelios Sklavenitis is a blow to the business world, as he was the man who managed the largest food group in Greece.
Inlefkas.gr, due to the sudden death of the powerful businessman, reminds us that from the 1920 trade of Lefkada and the economic destruction of 1936, this family built an empire around its name.
Initially, an accident in a large batch of wine destined for exports to 1938 was the reason for the Sklavenitis family to leave Lefkada and seek its fortune in Athens.
Until then, Gerasimos Sklavenitis, grandfather of the current Managing Director, had a very pledged job on the island dealing with the import and trade of timber and the export of wine.
The advent in the capital coincided with the onset of the Second World War and the occupation. The poor family who has not yet managed to stand on her feet will be tested hard and will bend as the two parents starve and die leaving orphaned four children.
The oldest son, 18, Yannis, who was the only one to work, and his younger brother, Spyros, who will work in a soap factory and as a guardian of the Red Cross, takes over the role of a protégé.
After the departure of the Germans and Spyros, they immediately showed their appeal to the trade. In the Central Market they began to have spices, millet and cannabis. Catalytic for their further development was cooperation with Miltiadis Papadopoulos, a refugee from Asia Minor, at the beginning of the 50. Together with 1954 they will create in Petralona "Sklavenitis & Co." where it has been the wholesale food trade.
The first delivery company in Greece
Post-war Athens acquires the first six-digit phones and the company is thinking of taking advantage of the new technology that came into the city's everyday life. They create TEL. (TELEPHONE SERVICE) and perform food orders at home. The first delivery company in Greece is a fact, even if today the Sklavenitis chain holds the leading position in this field it owes its very long tradition. Soon their reputation for service and low prices is spreading throughout the basin, and their turnover has been rising year on year.
The first supermarket
In the late 60, at the time of the grocery stores, they perceived the need for cheap shopping in the popular neighborhoods of the western suburbs. So before 49 years, at 6 February 1969 on the ground floor of TELEXYP, 80 on Kifissou Avenue opens the first supermarket. The expansion will come from the other popular neighborhoods of Piraeus, Kaminia and Moschato and then throughout Attica.
The new generation
A key point in the chain's evolution was the death of its three creators, with Spyros (father of the current shareholders) last March in 2006. A year earlier, a proposal to acquire a multinational group of 400 million was preceded by a share of the shareholders at that time. The children of Spyros (Maria, Gerasimos, Stelios and Vicky), in keeping with the promise they gave to their father, that the chain will remain Greek, work with the families of Nikos Mamidakis and Andreas Potamianos to buy their cousins and later and the heirs of Papadopoulos.
Their selection was justified, expanded to the industry by investing 15 years ago in the "Glaros" that produces on behalf of the chain, but also for third parties, toilet paper, kitchen and napkins and today, which have closed hard paper companies, this is one of the most profitable and dynamic.
Also in the wholesale market with the acquisition of Makro before 4 years, which they renamed The Mart but mainly extended to what they know best, the supermarkets. Originally with the acquisition of 60% of Halkidakis in Crete and then the acquisition of the biggest player in the Greek market of Carrefour Marinopoulos.
Today, the Greek Supermarkets in Sklavenitis are the largest private sector employers, employing about 23.000 employees, mainly in 410 stores, and one of 10's largest companies in terms of turnover.