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The impact of supermarket chains on retail food stores



The economic crisis in Greece has resulted in 3500 food retail stores closing between 2010 - 2013 and this has mostly affected traditional stores.
The economic crisis in Greece has resulted in 3500 food retail stores closing between 2010 and 2013 and this has mostly affected traditional stores, such as minimarkets, grocers and butchers.

This came about as the smaller food stores were unable to offer the same discounts as the larger supermarket chains at the peak of the crisis.  Although some of the chains declared bankruptcy, there are those who still continue to take the market share from traditional traders.

Research data from IRI indicate that during 2010 there were 16207 retail food companies located in Greece. This number has declined to 12547 during 2013, which implies that 3660 have had to close.

During 2013, there were 1720 fewer traditional food stores than there were three years before.  The trend toward purchasing fresh vegetables, fish and meat from supermarket and not local stores, mostly in a bid to save time, had already commenced prior to the crisis, became stronger during the years of crisis.  At this point the main reason was the lower prices that the supermarket chains were offering.  This was evident in the queues for lamb at supermarket butchers in preparation for Easter.

Minimarkets have also suffered and have declined by 1352, between 2010 and 2013, with most being replaced by convenience stores franchised by major supermarket chains.

Hypermarkets have once again gained popularity.  During 2013, they increased from 56 to 58, compared to 2012.

The decline in discount stores is mostly due to Aldi leaving the Greek market and the Dia chain shutdown.  This has left the German-owned Lidl the main player in that particular segment of the market.

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