Eurotorg, Belarus' biggest retailer, has passed the 1,000-store milestone, with the opening of a net 96 new outlets in 2021 taking its total store count to 1,023.
The group is continuing to adhere to its 'asset-light' expansion strategy, it said in a statement, with all stores opened in leased premises during the year.
It also remains committed to the convenience format, with 93 of the 108 stores it opened last year of convenience format, with an average selling space of 315 square metres.
Convenience format stores account for more than half (52.9%) of the group's total net retail sales, up 0.7 percentage points year-on-year.
As well as convenience, the group also continues to make inroads into the discounter format, with the number of stores operated under its Hit! soft discounter banner increasing to 320, an increase of 29, while the hard discounter outlets under the Groshyk banner has more than doubled, to 65 (+40 new openings in 2021).
Sales Performance In Fourth Quarter
Following on from a strong Q3, in the final quarter of 2021 Eurotorg reported a 16.3% increase in net retail sales year-on-year to BYN 1.37 billion (€470 million).
Like-for-like sales were up 3.6% in the quarter, with the shift in consumer behaviour experienced from the start of the pandemic continuing to play a role.
Increased basket size (+11.7%) continues to be the core driver of like-for-like sales, it said, with like-for-like traffic down 7.3% in Q4.
For the full year, Eurotorg reported net retail sales of BYN 5.13 billion (€1.74 billion), a 13.1% increase, or 3.3% in like-for-like terms.