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Global Retail News

Monthly, Paris

The DIY retail market continues expanding despite the economic crisis in Central Europe

Apr 11, 2012
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According to the recent survey by PMR “DIY retail in Central Europe 2012”, the store number has been growing by 36% since 2008 when the market collapsed by 19% in the period. 2012 is expected to know a new growth by 12% mainly in Poland and Romania. Poland counts the largest store number more than in all five other countries of the region combined. “It is the leader by the number of new stores opened per year. However, the biggest percentage increase is observable in Romania, as it has almost doubled store count in the last four years, despite economic turmoil.”

Romania and Bulgaria, two less developed countries of Central Europe, registered a dynamic expansion. After the DIY concept introduction in Bulgaria in 2000, there was a constant growth in the store count and the selling space. The sector boomed following the high building activity between 2004 and 2008. Then, it slowed down to leveled on 43 outlets in 2011. “In the last 3 years, after the beginning of the crisis, expansion in Bulgaria has been just below the average for Central European countries. However, Romania witnessed the second largest expansion in Central Europe as the number of stores increased by 42%.” The company that has expanded the most in the past two years is Dedeman, which succeeded to overtake Praktiker and become the local market leader. Between 2000 and 2010, an average of 27 new stores opened their doors each year in Poland and 65 in 2011. In addition, retailers are planning a still more important growth for the next few years with at least 50 new units in 2012. After a 14%-store growth number in the past 4 years, development will slow down in the Czech republic even if 20 new units are still planned over 2015.

In Hungary, retailers expanded steadily up to 2008. Then the store number grew by 3% only between 2009 and 2011, which is the lowest level in Central Europe. More, expansion will be limited up to the end of 2014 due to a ban on shopping centers according to which the construction and expansion of commercial buildings with a floor space exceeding 300 sq.m is prohibited. The Slovak market is growing aggressively. The store number has been rising by 31% since the world crisis. If this country seems having no large international retailers, 3 new players have however chosen to enter it for their future expansion: Germany-based Bauhaus ready to open its first big box store, Market Majster from Poland and Avex Baumarkt from the Czech republic, the latter planning 20 to 25 mediumsized outlets in medium-sized cities.