Trade sector grows rapidly in Poland
According to daily Gazeta Prawna, Poland can expect to see expansion of hypermarkets, supermarkets and discount stores. At the same time, the number of grocers is decreasing rapidly. In 2007 about 3,000 grocery stores closed. The owners of the small shops, usually on housing estates, aren’t able to compete with the hypermarkets, which always have lower prices and more to sell.
“The necessity of competition with the discounts and supermarkets forces the small shops to cooperate, e.g. to reduce the costs of logistics and supplies,” said Marcin Szaleniez of the company PMR.
The small local shops are facing purchase by big foreign companies or else they likely must declare bankruptcy. The other way is to join Polish retail trade organizations. This kind of organization includes ABC, which links almost 2,500 shops, including Lewiatan and Zabka, with 2,000 shops. The experts as well as the traders predict consolidation of Polish retail trade as a result.
According to Gazeta Prawna, lone sellers are doomed to lose against the big corporations, because they aren’t able to sell at the same low prices as supermarkets. It is estimated that wholesale shopping can reduce the costs by up to 15 percent. The situation in Poland isn’t encouraging, which is true in many other European countries. In the Slovak Republic 69 percent of retail trade belongs to foreign companies, in Czech Republic 76 percent and in Germany and France almost 90 percent. Experts say the Polish trade market is among the most scattered in Europe. Few nations have more than 100,000 shops. On the other hand, many Polish people can’t imagine shopping somewhere else than in their own neighborhood because of long and close relationships with them.
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