Foreign Players Hold Nearly 50% Of Serbian Retail Market

By Branislav Pekic
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Foreign Players Hold Nearly 50% Of Serbian Retail Market

Foreign companies account for close to half of the retail revenue generated in Serbia, a new study has found.

Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS) representative Bojan Stanić told the Tanjug news agency that the local retail market in Serbia has seen revenue growth in recent years. Domestic retailers and small grocery shops still dominate the market, but recent years have seen significant modernisation.

Among the modern large-scale retailers, the major players are still Dutch-Belgian company Ahold Delhaize (through Delhaize Serbia) and Slovenia’s Mercator-S, which, in turn, is owned by Croatia’s Agrokor.

PKS Secretary Žarko Malinović said that the crisis at Agrokor has not had a major impact in Serbia.

The priority for the Serbian economy, he adds, is to strengthen the presence of Serbian products on the shelves of both domestic and foreign retail chains.


Improved Performance

Euromonitor International reports that retailing in Serbia recorded a notably improved performance last year, compared to 2017, partly due to the Serbian government’s efforts to revive the economy. This trend should continue in 2019, it added.

Hypermarkets saw an improved performance last year, despite seeing declines in previous years, while all other types of grocery retailers (except for discounters and convenience stores) saw a decline in their value share.

Convenience stores are growing in popularity due to Delhaize Serbia and Mercator-S investing in this format.

The arrival of discounter Lidl has also shaken up the market, with the group managing to snatch a 5% market share in just two months. The chain opened 16 outlets in October and another seven in November, ending the year with 23 outlets.


Lidl plans to continue expanding its presence throughout the country and may open more stores in the three largest cities: Belgrade, Niš and Novi Sad.

Speaking on the sidelines of a property fair in Belgrade, the head of property at Lidl Serbia, Ana Petrović, stated that the retailer has seen turnover above expectations, adding that it plans to rent more premises to achieve further growth.

© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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