Renewed growth for Polish retail
discount store market is continuing apace, with the market share
set to grow significantly in the course of the next two years.
The survey, by the GfK Polonia research institute indicates that, contrary to many opinions that the sector is saturated, hypermarkets, supermarket and discount shops that have the fastest growth rates in the FMCG sector - which largely comprises food and beverage sales.
GfK estimates that their share in this trade will grow from 36 per cent in 2003 to about 42 per cent in 2005, figures that are likely to spawn a great deal of development for the sector during this period.
As a rule of thumb, it also seems that the bigger the operation, the bigger the growth margins. The figures forecast that during the period in question hypermarkets operations will grow by 19 per cent to include 186 foreign and 16 domestic operations, discount stores will grow by 10 per cent to total 1,274 stores, and supermarkets outlets will grow by 3 per to 924 stores.
The GfK data also indicates that 119,000 grocery stores operated in Poland last year, which was about 1 per cent more than in 2002. These figures suggest that after a short period of relative stagnation, the market is again due for another period of growth.
Mirroring the patterns of other more developed markets, the number of specialist food shops has been decreasing for the last few years, falling by about 2 per cent to 23,000 in 2003. However, the report also highlights how the number of large, medium-sized and small shops is growing. Currently medium-sized businesses account for around 62,000 outlets which is more than half of all grocery stores in Poland.
Over the past ten years all the major western European players have created some sort of footprint for themselves, in this the largest of the Central European economies. Presently key players on the market include Ahold, Aldi, Auchan, Carrefour, Casino, Coop Norden, Cora/Louis Delhaize, Edeka, E. Leclerc, ITM, J. Sainsbury, Laurus, Metro, Migros, Rewe, Safeway, Schwarz, Spar, Tengelmann, Tesco and Wal-Mart.