New Impetus For Retail Growth In Macedonia: Analysis

By Branislav Pekic
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New Impetus For Retail Growth In Macedonia: Analysis

The end of an ongoing political crisis and the creation of a new government provided a new impetus for growth in the retail sector in Macedonia during 2017.

According to a study by Euromonitor International, most of retailers operating in the country recorded mild to solid growth.

However, it found that consumer confidence and purchasing power remains low as consumers continue to face shortfalls in spending.

The significant shift from traditional to modern grocery retailing continues in Macedonia, with 'convenience' and 'shopping experience' being cited as the major drivers of growth.

In addition, a frequency of discounts and a growing range of private label products are also appealing to price sensitive consumers.


Leading grocery retailers are increasingly reliant on social and mainstream media to advertise their products and, while mobile internet retailing is growing, domestic retailers are lagging behind on this front.

A survey conducted last September by Insider ID revealed that Kam is the grocery retailer of choice for 67% of Macedonians, followed by Tinex (40%) and Vero (26%).

Major Players

The grocery retail trade in Macedonia consists of over 50, mostly local players, of which six are present nationwide (Kam Market, Žito Marketi, Tinex, Stokomak, Ramstore and Vero), while the rest are mainly local companies.

Skopje-based Kam Market is the leading hard discounter in the country, and also boasts the most extensive network – 68 stores in 19 cities.


Its business strategy is built around offering 'excellent quality at extremely low prices' and the assortment consists of both food and non-food products, with regular weekly offers and promotions. Private label is also a major part of the retailer's strategy.

Žito Marketi, from Veles, is the biggest supermarket operator, with 54 stores in 14 cities across Macedonia. It offers an assortment of over 5,000 SKUs, including private label in areas such as personal and home care, cereals and appetisers, as well as cured meats and dairy.

The company has its own customer loyalty card, but also uses Facebook (over 120,000 subscribers) and SMS for promotional activities.

Elsewhere. Skopje-based Tinex ended 2017 with a portfolio of 46 stores of various formats (hypermarkets, supermarkets, discount stores and drugstores), which combined cover a total sales area of ​​26,000 square metres. These include 10 Super Tinex hypermarkets (boasting over 20,000 SKUs) and 26 Tinex Discount stores.


Earlier this month, Tinex opened a 12,000 square metre warehouse in Petrovec, following an €8 million investment.

In the second phase of the project, another 10,000 square metres will be added for an additional investment of €6 million. The retailer is also planning to open an online store, initially in Skopje, offering home delivery of around 6,000 food and non-food SKUs. It also plans to expand this to other cities.

Another important player is discounter Stokomak, which operates 35 stores in Skopje, Kumanovo, Stip and Tetovo. Its assortment consists of more than 900 domestic and foreign SKUs, including private label.

International Names

The presence of international players in Macedonia is limited, however, there are a number of retailers with a limited presence.


Ramstore, owned by Turkish grocery retailer Migros Ticaret A.Ş, operates 23 supermarkets in seven different cities (of which 12 in Skopje) boasting a total surface area of 21,000 square metres. The company is currently giving priority to smaller neighbourhood stores under the Ramstore Express banner (two opened last year in Ohrid and Kumanovo).

Greece’s Veropoulos operates 11 Vero supermarkets in three cities, the Vero Centar shopping mall in Skopje, as well as four Jumbo toy stores. Plans for 2018 include the opening of a new supermarket in Karpoš and the expansion of an existing Vero store in Taftalice.

In recent years, Tuš from Slovenia as well as France’s Carrefour have left Macedonia, while Slovenia’s Mercator has abandoned is expansion plans.

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine

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