From the start of the recession in 2008 up to 2014 more than 200,000 small and medium-sized enterprises are estimated to have shut down, which means that a quarter of this sector has been wiped out, according to commerce register figures.
From a total of 820,185 SMEs in 2008, no more than 614,000 remained on the registers last year, with company closures continuing into 2015. In the food retail sector alone, 3,600 companies shut down in the first four years of the bailout period, from 2010 to 2013.
The reduction in traditional food stores such as butchers, grocers, bakers etc came to 27 percent within four years, while minimarkets saw their numbers drop by 20 percent during the same period.
The bulk of their turnover has been absorbed by the supermarket chains that continue to increase the range of products they offer.
Similarly, the turnover of apparel stores and small manufacturers that also sell their goods has been largely swallowed up by chain and department stores, while private consumption posted a 25 percent decline in the period from 2008 to 2014.