Food retail shows signs of recovery

By Dimitra Manifava

Food retail in Greece is starting to show the first signs of recovery this year, as turnover data for the sector’s chains indicate that the slowdown in the decline of sales volume, which started last fall, continued into the first quarter of 2014.

Figures from IRI market consultants show that the rate of decline in supermarket sales last August, which came to 6.9 percent on annual basis, dropped to just 1.8 percent in March 2014.

In total, supermarket sales shrank by 1.9 percent in the first quarter of the year, but this was not so much due to a decline in sales volume as the fierce competition between chains that has led to extensive and prolonged offers and a slide in average prices.

Furthermore, large chains such as Vassilpoulos, Lidl, Sklavenitis and Metro are planning to expand, while Veropoulos has already opened two new supermarkets in Greece.