The turnover of small and medium-sized retail companies in Greece has been shrinking at an annual rate of 5 percent since 2013, while the number of shutdowns in the period from 2008 to 2013 reached 30,000. This translates into a 16 percent total reduction in shops, climbing to 28 percent in Attica, a National Bank of Greece report on retail sector SMEs showed on Wednesday.
Although the strong consumption model before the crisis concealed the weaknesses of the market, the data show a persistent low capacity of added value for Greek SMEs in comparison with other European Union countries. Their low pace of adjustment and their dependence on a small number of suppliers are two of the sector’s typical structural problems that have existed since before the crisis.
This a particularly fragmented sector, mainly consisting of small and to a great extent family-run enterprises, which de facto constitutes a considerable structural distortion.
Small retail enterprises account for 71 percent of the sector’s employment – against 56 percent for all Greek SMEs in total and just 35 percent for retail SMEs in the EU – and for 66 percent of the total turnover of retail commerce in Greece – compared to 25 percent for retail SMEs in the EU.