Romanians Spend 600 Mln Euros in Supermarkets in December

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Romanians Spend 600 Mln Euros in Supermarkets in December

December, the most productive month for food retail chains in Romania is bringing supermarkets and hypermarkets sales put at more than 600 million euros, 30-35% more than the average of a regular month, Ziarul Financiar reported.

Eastern and Christmas holidays generate record sales in large stores, with lots of people standing in line at the tills, because the client traffic increases by as much as 50% compared with November, according to data from players on the market.

Last year, supermarket and hypermarket networks (discounters included) posted cumulative sales of 6 billion euros, according to Finance Ministry data, that is a 450-500 million-euro average.

Taking into account the estimates of the networks about the growth rate of sales registered around Easter and Christmas, 30-35%, sales in December can be put at 600-650 million euros. This year 13 hypermarkets were opened and three closed on the market, but, considering the consumer spending decline, the segment should stagnate at its 2008 level.

Preparation of Christmas dinner and presents could therefore generate an additional 100-200 million euros in revenues to supermarket and hypermarket chains in the last month of 2009.

"Generally, the number of clients in Carrefour hypermarkets goes up by approximately 50% in December compared with a regular month," says Andreea Mihai, marketing manager of Carrefour Romania. On the average, the traffic increase in hypermarkets stands at about 30-35% in December, according to market data.

In Bucharest, an over 10,000-15,000 square meter hypermarket attracts up to 150,000 clients in December, but the representatives of the stores are unwilling to provide details about the value of this month's sales.

This year, however, retailers are no longer talking about growth in sales or client traffic, so that the December 2008 peak may not be reached in 2009.

Supermarket and hypermarket chains on the Romanian market total almost 500 stores at present, with almost one million square meters in sales area.

Source: Ziarul Financiar

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