Supermarkets suffer biggest sales decline in recent years


Greek supermarkets endured their biggest annual turnover drop of recent years in 2016, according to market researchers IRI, while the first signs for this year are far from encouraging.

Turnover at Greek supermarkets shrank 6.5 percent year-on-year in 2016, while sales volume declined by 8.9 percent. At the same time prices posted annual growth of 2.4 percent, owing to the impact of last summer’s value-added tax increase, along with fewer special offers by retailers.

The decline in turnover is partly attributed to the problems that Marinopoulos, the country’s biggest supermarket chain, has been facing. However, IRI officials stress to Kathimerini that even without the impact of Marinopoulos’s problems on the market, the turnover reduction would have been certain anyway, amounting to at least 3 percentage points compared to 2015.

Interestingly, the downfall of Marinopoulos appears to have benefited several chains, according to market experts, including some minor ones that have formed a nationwide group named ELOMAS.

IRI also highlighted the benefits Lidl Hellas has reaped, posting a 10.4 percent increase in sales from 2015 to 2016.