Like the rest of Europe, Greece has faced turbulent times in recent months. Last year, in particular, was tough for the supermarket industry and the Greek retail sector in general, with Greece's Interior Ministry placing a cap on gross profit margins on food and other consumer goods to tackle increasing costs and curb profiteering.
Elsewhere, the government asked suppliers, including supermarkets, to declare stockpiles of certain products after consumers hoarded goods over supply concerns. Cost increases, revaluations and the effort to contain prices will be the main factors facing Greek supermarket operators during 2023.
According to a recent survey of Greek retail and FMCG industry executives by IELKA (Consumer Goods Retail Research Institute) , the coming year will be heavily influenced by energy costs, raw material prices and transportation costs, with all (100%) respondents acknowledging the influence of these costs on the price of goods.
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Greek retail trade volumes were down 1.2% in December 2022 compared to the previous year, according to the latest figures. At the same time, inflation was up 6.1% in February 2023 compared to February 2022.
IELKA has warned that indirect taxes, labour costs, the monetary policy of the European Union, the after-effects of the pandemic, the cost of borrowing, and the forthcoming parliamentary elections (taking place in May) will also be factors for Greek retailers to watch out for as the year progresses.
Elsewhere, a separate study by IELKA recently showed that the food retailing industry has seen an increase in employment over the past year, with 217,000 now employed in the supermarket sector. Supermarket personnel are viewed 'very positively' by Greek consumers, the study noted.
Here's an overview of the top ten supermarket retail chains in Greece, according to their most recently-available full-year turnover. All data is supplied by Retail-Index (www.retail-index.com).
Turnover: €3.98 billion (2021)
Sklavenitis, which became the largest supermarket chain in Greece following its takeover of Marinopoulos in 2017, reported a turnover of €3.98 billion in 2021, a 5.1% increase on the previous year. EBITDA for the year totalled €292.7 million, up from €261.4 million a year earlier.
Turnover: €2.1 billion (estimated, 2020)
DiscounterLidl reported an estimated turnover of €2.1 billion in 2020. Owned by the Schwarz Group, Lidl started operating in Greece in 1991. It has quickly grown to become the biggest discounter brand in the country, with over 230 stores as of 2022.
3. Alfa Beta Vassilopoulos
Turnover: €2.096 billion (2020)
AB Vasilopoulos reported a turnover of €2.096 billion in 2020. Owned by Ahold Delhaize, the retailer was founded in 1939 and has over 596 stores in Greece as of 2022. It was the first supermarket in Greece to introduce a customer loyalty scheme.
Alfa Beta serves customers through its Alfa Beta supermarkets and the AB Food Market, AB Shop & Go, AB City and ENA Food Cash & Carry formats.
4. Metro Aebe
Turnover: €1.2 billion (2020)
Established in 1976, Metro Aebe recorded turnover of €1.2 billion in 2020. As of 2022, it had 281 outlets in Greece.
The company's turnover comes from two main channels – retail sales through My Market stores and wholesale sales through Metro Cash & Carry stores. In 2016, Metro acquired exclusive control of the business activities of the Veropoulos company in Greece.
Turnover: €912 million (2020)
Diamantis Masoutis SA was founded by Diamantis Masoutis in 1976 in Thessaloniki. It recorded a turnover of €912 million in 2020 and had 334 stores in Greece as of last year.
The company is the market leader in Northern Greece, with its portfolio including City stores, Grand Masoutis, Masoutis Green Stores, and Masoutis Cash & Carry wholesale stores.
Turnover: €536 million (2020)
Galaxias is sixth on the list with a turnover of €536 million recorded in 2020. It had 164 stores in Greece as of 2022. Its banners include Galaxias C&C and Galaxias Supermarket.
7. Market In
Turnover: €364 million (2020)
The Market In company was founded in 1990. It reported turnover of €364 million in 2020, and had 235 stores in Greece as of last year.
Starting as a member of the Asteras group and later moving to the Elomas group, Market In became independent in 2007. Market In employs more than 4,000 personnel.
8. The Mart
Turnover: €334 million (2020)
The Mart is eighth on the list and recorded annual turnover of €334 million in 2020. The retailer has 13 stores in Greece, as of 2023.
The Mart has been active in Greece since 1992, while since January 2015, it has been a member of the Sklavenitis Group.
Turnover: €195 million (2020)
This first Synka supermarket opened in 1979 at N. Episkopou & Minoos Street in the city of Chania.
The retailer recorded a turnover of €195 million in 2020, and has 40 stores in Greece as of 2022.
Turnover: €181 million (2019)
Bazaar is a member of the Veroukas Group and was founded in 1994.
It operates more than 170 supermarkets and cash and carry stores across the country through its Bazaar and Bazaar C&C brands, as of 2022. It recorded revenues of €181 million in 2019.
Retail-Index is a specialist supplier of management information on consumer retail markets, provided by Veraart Research Group in the Netherlands. Its mission is to supply managers with up-to-date key information on retail markets in Europe and support them in their international expansion.
The company dates back to 1964, when it started as a market research and marketing consulting company for consumer products and services. In 1989, it started publishing written reports on various retail sectors in Europe. As of 2005, it publishes its information on retailers through the online database and curated datasheet exports available on www.retail-index.com. A team of researchers manages the data to reflect upon current developments in the markets, collected from an extensive number of sources.
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© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.