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Trade: Study: Romanian retail market is estimated at 40 billion euro; 85% of products sold are of joint origin

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The Romanian retail market is estimated now at 40 billion euros, 85% of products sold being of joint origin, while 15% are local products, according to a specialised study.

The study shows that retail market in Romania grew by 12% in 2016. That was due to the increase of the gross average salary (1,450 lei at present), the reduction of VAT from 24% to 19% and the occupation of labour force by 0.16% against 2015.

Consumption increase amplified commercial market dynamics. 230,000 sq.m of new commercial areas were commissioned in 2016, on the rise by 40% compared to 2015. A record number of 240 new stores were recorded in the trade sector, where the most active players were Profi (134 stores), Mega Image (60}, Lidl (11) and Kaufland (6).

Retailers focused more on opening proximity stores and small stores. The law maintained a compulsory 51% for Romanian products in the overall. At present, the Romanian retail market is estimated at 40 billion euros, with 4 big players, holding a share of 60%: Kaufland, Carrefour, Metro Cash & Carry and Auchan.

In 2017, retailers focused their efforts on identifying sustainable partnerships with suppliers to obtain the best purchase price and a sufficient product variety. In Romania, 85% of products sold in the commercial chain are of joint origin, while 15% are local ones. Carrefour, Kaufland and other retailers have consolidated relations with several local producers and opened new regional logistic centres to support network expansion.

Romania is, after Turkey, Russia, France and Italy, in the top of countries with growing commercial areas - from 50 to 100 square meters per 1,000 people in the last 4 years, but a lot under the European average. In big towns there is a growing appetite for large areas, while street areas  continue to have a high rental price. Retailers (Profi, Penny, Lidl) continue to develop networks especially in small towns where the rent level is lower, a study made by Euler Hermes shows.

For 2017, over 43,000 sq.m of commercial areas were announced in Romania. The year challenge was market increase in small and middle towns. Statistics show that retail through big chains has a share of 62.4% in Romania , compared to 90% in developed countries. In this context, retail has the chance to grow in smaller towns ( less than 100,000 people), where trade is represented by street shops. Euler Hermes Romania estimates that the evolution of retail sector will continue to be positive in 2018, influenced by positive macroeconomic indicators as well as by recent fiscal changes, although the growth of current account deficit and reappearance of inflation pressures could reduce the potential of trade increase.

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