As disposable incomes remained under pressure in 2017, Greek consumers continued to be price-sensitive, and focused on reducing the cost of their grocery shopping. Consumers remained focused on buying only what they considered as essential, and in a routinely unstable economic environment, they tended to choose cheaper products.
A FOCUS ON GROCERY PRODUCTS, PARTICULARLY HEALTH AND WELLNESS PRODUCTS
As Greeks will remain cost-conscious, the grocery versus non-grocery dynamic will be in favour of grocery sales. Considering most non-grocery items unnecessary, and given that sales of non-grocery specialists declined at a faster rate than grocery retailers, supermarkets will look to invest in their grocery ranges.
THE CONTINUED SEARCH FOR BARGAINS IS EXPECTED TO DISADVANTAGE SUPERMARKETS
Looking at grocery retailing as a whole, modern grocery retailing will continue to outperform traditional grocery retailers over the forecast period. The former is set to stabilise, whereas the latter is likely to continue to decline.
SKLAVENITIS BECOMES LEADER AFTER THE REBRANDING OF THE MARINOPOULOS NETWORK
During 2016, the bankruptcy of Marinopoulos mainly benefited AB Vassilopoulos (and the leading discounter Lidl), which saw its sales increase considerably and its leading position further enhanced. However, many of Marinopoulos’s ex-customers proved willing to return to their old supermarkets under the Sklavenitis banner in 2017, and the reactivation of more than 300 ex-Marinopoulos outlets by Sklavenitis rendered the domestic player the largest in terms of outlet numbers.
MASOUTIS, THE LEADER IN NORTHERN GREECE AND THE THIRD PLAYER NATIONALLY, IS ALSO UNDER PRESSURE FROM SKLAVENITIS
The third largest player in terms of value sales, Masoutis, which is active in Thessaloniki and northern Greece, is also expected to come under pressure from Sklavenitis. At the end of the review period Sklavenitis operated more than 100 outlets in northern Greece, 35 of which were situated in Thessaloniki.
CONSOLIDATION SET TO CONTINUE
The supermarkets channel continued to show signs of consolidation during 2017, as despite the overall negative performance in 2017 in an unfavourable economic environment, many of the leading players managed to increase their sales. A key strategy followed by the major chains is acquiring smaller players, mostly in the periphery of the country, in order to strengthen their positions.