Neighborhood minimarkets and discount chains were last year’s net gainers in food retailing (excluding open-air street markets). These two categories saw their turnover grow in 2015 compared to 2014, according to a report issued by research firm IRI.
Shrinking disposable incomes combined with shortages in some products, which started at Marinopoulos, Greece’s biggest supermarket chain, in 2015, led many consumers to Lidl and other smaller discount chains. Neighborhood stores, on the other hand, gained ground as many consumers cut down on their shopping and were satisfied with the smaller variety available at local stores.
Lidl’s turnover last year was estimated at 1.3 billion euros, against 1.27 billion in 2014, while neighborhood stores raised their turnover to 348 million euros from 331 million in 2014.
Of course the main supermarket chains continue to reap the lion’s share, but their turnover shrank to 7.175 billion euros in 2015 from 7.245 billion a year earlier. Stores which focus on specific foods, such as butchers or greengrocers, reported a decline from 138 million euros in 2014 to 133 million in 2015.
In total the food retail market posted relatively small losses last year as its turnover totaled 8.96 billion euros compared to 8.98 billion in 2014.
Notably, in the period from 2010 to 2015, about 25 percent of all retail stores, ranging from supermarkets to kiosks, vanished from the Greek business map, which amounts to 14,350 shops on mainland Greece and Crete.