Su­per­mar­kets suf­fer big­gest sales de­cline in re­cent years

Kathimerini English - - Focus - DIMITRA MANIFAVA

Greek su­per­mar­kets en­dured their big­gest an­nual turnover drop of re­cent years in 2016, ac­cord­ing to mar­ket re­searchers IRI, while the first signs for this year are far from en­cour­ag­ing.

Turnover at Greek su­per­mar­kets shrank 6.5 per­cent year-on-year in 2016, while sales vol­ume de­clined by 8.9 per­cent. At the same time prices posted an­nual growth of 2.4 per­cent, ow­ing to the im­pact of last sum­mer’s value-added tax in­crease, along with fewer spe­cial of­fers by re­tail­ers.

The de­cline in turnover is partly at­trib­uted to the prob­lems that Marinopou­los, the coun­try’s big­gest su­per­mar­ket chain, has been fac­ing. How­ever, IRI of­fi­cials stress to Kathimerini that even with­out the im­pact of Marinopou­los’s prob­lems on the mar­ket, the turnover re­duc­tion would have been cer­tain any­way, amount­ing to at least 3 per­cent­age points com­pared to 2015.

In­ter­est­ingly, the down­fall of Marinopou­los ap­pears to have ben­e­fited sev­eral chains, ac­cord­ing to mar­ket ex­perts, in­clud­ing some mi­nor ones that have formed a na­tion­wide group named ELOMAS. IRI also high­lighted the ben­e­fits Lidl Hel­las has reaped, post­ing a 10.4 per­cent in­crease in sales from 2015 to 2016.

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