Sales at supermarkets remained in negative territory after the first five months of the year, with turnover shrinking by between 5 and 6 percent, according to sector estimates.
The continued drop is expected to trigger a further concentration of the industry, at least for the next three years, through the bankruptcy or sale of small and medium-sized chains, or the closure of some branches.
“In previous years the sector was obsessed with the number of branches, believing that turnover would grow via a very large network, which proved to be the wrong policy,” said the head of Metro, which operates MyMarket and Metro Cash & Carry, Aristotelis Panteliadis on Wednesday.
He went on to note that at the moment the least efficient model is that of the hypermarket – very large supermarkets covering an area of more than 2,500 square meters that offer a wide variety of goods beyond food and hygiene products, such as clothing and electrical appliances. “There now are cheap, specialized outlets for such product categories,” he pointed out, adding that the ideal model for supermarkets has an area ranging between 800 and 1,500 sq.m. – which is the size of the majority of Metro’s stores.