Su­per­mar­ket offers and ads war rages over Marinopou­los clients

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY DIMITRA MANIFAVA

Greece’s large and medium-sized su­per­mar­ket chains have en­tered a spe­cial offers war in a bid to se­cure the big­gest pos­si­ble mar­ket share of a pie that keeps shrink­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by IRI, the com­pe­ti­tion is so in­tense that their spend­ing on ad­ver­tis­ing is greater than that of car deal­er­ships in Greece or the even bank­ing sec­tor, which un­til re­cently were dom­i­nant.

The ef­fort to woo Marinopou­los cus­tomers and the re­al­iza­tion that the Greek mar­ket still has mar­gin for more spe­cial offers, as their share in to­tal sales vol­ume re­mains low com­pared to the rest of Europe, are the main mo­ti­va­tors in the pro­mo­tional drive.

In the 12 months from July 2015 to June 2016 there was a mar­ginal in­crease of 0.1 per­cent in the share of spe­cial offers in food sec­tor turnover com­pared to a year ear­lier. Es­ti­mates say that the in­crease would have been greater had the Marinopou­los chain – Greece’s largest – not crum­bled this year.

The IRI study for the pe­riod from July 2015 to June 2016 showed that the sales vol­ume of spe­cial offers in the food cat­e­gory ac­counted for just 18.9 per­cent of all food sales, which is the small­est rate among the coun­tries ex­am­ined by the re­search com­pany. How­ever, out­side the food cate- gory, spe­cial offers are much more pop­u­lar in Greece: The sales vol­ume of spe­cial offers in non-food com­modi­ties amounts to 32.2 per­cent of all non-food sales.

In Greece the prod­uct cat­e­gory where spe­cial offers hold the big­gest share is house­hold goods (de­ter­gents, pa­per rolls etc), where they ac­count for 35.1 per­cent of all sales. The cor­re­spond­ing fig­ure for per­sonal hy­giene goods is 30.7 per­cent. Mean­while, in the food and drink cat­e­gory, most spe­cial offers con­cern non-al­co­holic bev­er­ages: The sales vol­ume from spe­cial offers in that cat­e­gory ac­counts for 24.1 per­cent of to­tal sales.

Al­though Greece re­mains a de­vel­op­ing rather than ma­ture mar­ket in terms of spe­cial offers, the main rea­son for the ap­pear­ance of more, big­ger dis­counts and for re­tail­ers pres­sur­ing sup­pli­ers to fund those offers is win­ning over the cus­tomers of Marinopou­los. Th­ese shop­pers have been branded dis­count hunters and the ma­jor­ity – es­ti­mated at 250,000 – have cho­sen the mar­ket’s leader, AB Vas­silopou­los.

The big offers in big brands have re­cently di­min­ished the gap be­tween their prices and those of the su­per­mar­kets’ pri­vate la­bels. How­ever, if the sup­pli­ers try to re­sist the pres­sure by the su­per­mar­ket chains, the lat­ter have other strate­gies to con­vince them: The IRI study shows that re­tail­ers are now en­gag­ing in pro­mo­tional offers even for their pri­vate-la­bel prod­ucts, ei­ther by price dis­counts or by quan­tity in­creases.

The main rea­son for the ap­pear­ance of more, big­ger dis­counts and for re­tail­ers pres­sur­ing sup­pli­ers to fund those offers is win­ning over the cus­tomers of Marinopou­los, who have been branded dis­count hunters.

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