Central & Eastern Europe: Key retail developments in Q2

Date : 18 July 2016

In this update, we look at what happened at retailers across the region in the second quarter of 2016, including market entries & investment plans, new store concepts, online & digital, new technology, efficiency drives and legislation affecting retail.

MARKET ENTRIES & INVESTMENT PLANS

Lidl

Lithuania – The retailer has entered its 27th market, with 15 stores across nine towns and cities, including five in the capital city of Vilnius.

Romania – Lidl is set to open ten new outlets this year, breaking the 200 store barrier by the end of 2016.

Elsewhere in the region…

Russia – X5 revealed plans to open 150 stores over the next two years in Siberia.

Serbia – Mercator has invested over €7m in store openings, refurbishments, IT and logistics in the last three months. This represents the retailer’s highest level of investment across Central & Eastern Europe.

Romania – Kaufland is planning to invest €100m in 2016, with a focus on store openings and refurbishment. It has already implemented six new concept in six stores in Bucharest and should operate 110 stores in the market by the end of August 2016.

Turkey – A101 is set to acquire the Istanbul-based Çagri chain, which operates around 45 compact hypermarkets, neighbourhood stores and discount stores. The deal is subject to approval from local competition authorities.

NEW STORE CONCEPTS

Carrefour goes upmarket…

Poland – Following the launch of its gourmet store in Milan in 2014, Carrefour has launched its first premium store, Bialoleka Market, aimed at discerning urban consumers, with a meat smoker, ripening room and a wide range of French, American and Italian products.

…While others look to convenience

Poland – Auchan is reportedly looking to introduce smaller formats under the Simply Market banner, with a focus on fresh ranges and self-service options.

Croatia – Konzum is to launch a new compact wholesale concept, VELPRO HoReCa Centar, in Split, Croatia’s second largest city. The new store will focus on supplying over 1,000 products to the city’s 300 restaurants.

Turkey – Migros has introduced its ‘floating full-service store’, a 40 metre yacht called ‘Migros Deniz Market’ (Migros Sea Market). Operating over the summer, the yacht aims to meet the needs of customers in the coastal areas of Fethiye and Göcek. It offers a retail space of over 2,000 sq. m and stocks over 500 items, including fresh produce, meat, bakery and deli goods, as well as a range of non-food products.

ONLINE & DIGITAL DEVELOPMENTS

Romania – Cora, which offers an online shopping portal with an assortment of 30,000 SKU’s, is looking to expand its online range to 50,000 SKUs by the end of the year, as well as extending the reach of its home delivery service to areas outside Bucharest.

Hungary – Rossman has launched a new mobile app, which offers 10,000 products for sale. To celebrate the launch, the retailer is running a happy hour promotion, where shoppers purchasing through the app can receive 10% off daily between 07:00 and 09:00 and 20:00 and 24:00.

NEW TECHNOLOGY DRIVES AVAILABILITY & QUALITY

Poland – Biedronka is trialling a 24/7 grocery vending machine outside of its store in Wroclaw. The machine provides essential grocery items including milk, eggs, cheese and pet food products.

Lithuania – Maxima is trialling a new ‘electronic nose’ tool that allows the retailer and shoppers to check the quality and freshness of products.

STREAMLINING & STORE CLOSURES

While a number of retailers have invested in market entry, expansion, store concepts, online and technology, others are looking to streamline their portfolios and drive efficiency.

Tesco

Turkey – Tesco is selling its controlling stake in Tesco Kipa to Migros for £30m, subject to regulatory approval. This includes 26 shopping malls and 168 stores in 21 cities.

Poland – The retailer is also closing seven unprofitable smaller stores in the market, while Metro Group is discontinuing its small cash & carry format too.

LEGISLATION AFFECTING RETAIL

Russia – The government has extended its embargo on the ban of certain food imports from the EU and selected other Western markets until the end of 2017.

Poland – The government has approved a new retail tax, which is expected to be implemented from September. As a result, retailers in Poland will pay 0.8% on monthly revenues between PLN 17m (€3.85m) and PLN 170m (€38.55m) and 1.4% on sales exceeding PLN 170m (€38.55m) per month as initially planned. Revenues below PLN 17m (€3.85m) per month will be tax free.

IGD in CEE in Q3 2016

Moscow – IGD will be presenting at The Retail Business Russia & EAEU 2016 conference on 22nd September 2016 on farmers’ markets and farmers’ produce as part of modern retail.

Budapest – IGD will be producing exclusive content following a recent research trip to the city. You can read our first store visit report, 'SPAR Hungary: a day with the retailer' here.

Warsaw – IGD will be conducting a research trip in August.

Zagreb – IGD will be conducting a research trip in September.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss retail development or show us your new store concepts.

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This article was written by Harriet Cohen, Senior Retail Analyst in IGD's international research team. Harriet contributes to IGD's European research programme, regularly travelling to markets in the region, visiting stores and engaging with retailers and manufacturers. To learn more about how IGD's research can benefit your business further, please get in touch. 
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