ECONOMY

Food retailers set to show a decline

The retail food sector is already feeling the impact of the global economic crisis, with sales volume for the September-October period expected to show a marginal decline. In the year’s first eight months, the volume of sales at supermarkets posted a small rise of 1.4 percent year-on-year, while turnover grew by 6.8 percent thanks to price rises. Nevertheless, about 60 product categories are showing a drop in sales volume, which in some cases exceeds 15 percent, while 74 categories are displaying a rise, but this exceeds 10 percent in just two or three cases. Senior supermarket staff attribute this slowdown to the general economic environment and the peculiarities of each product niche. Insecurity has been forcing consumers not to stop buying but to rationalize their purchases as much as possible. However there is also another trend appearing: Products aimed at the middle class are losing some of their market share. This concerns companies and products that are not particularly innovative nor well promoted. Similarly, the large supermarket chains are under less pressure than their medium-sized and smaller rivals.