Convenience stores registered strong sales growth in 2021 as the channel benefited from the greater importance that proximity retailing has taken on since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, with many consumers still reluctant to shop in crowded supermarkets and hypermarkets throughout the year due to fears of contagion, shopping in convenience stores made sense for increasing numbers of consumers.
The success of convenience stores in Romania towards the end of the review period as consumers increasingly favoured proximity shopping options led to numerous new convenience stores opening in the country during 2021. Category leader Profi Rom Food SRL for instance was also one of the most dynamic players in the category in 2021 in terms of opening new outlets under its two chains Profi City and Profi Loco.
One interesting point to note about convenience stores in Romania is that there are no chains of local origin operating at national level, with the chains of the leading local players having only regional reach. The main local chains in the category are Unicarm, Annabella and Diana and each of these chains is present only in certain suburban residential districts and outlets operated under these brands are rarely seen outside of their core geographic areas.
Convenience stores is slated for a positive performance over the forecast period and this is likely to be mainly the result of changes that are being seen in purchasing habits among the Romanian population. The COVID-19 pandemic has been influential within this context, by encouraging consumers to spend less time grocery shopping, leaving them more time for outdoor activities and other leisure pursuits.
The strong development expected in convenience stores during the forecast period can be expected to have a serious impact on the performance of independent small grocers. With these two channels expected to increasingly come into conflict as convenience stores chains expand, especially in smaller towns and cities and rural areas, it is expected that larger companies with greater economies of scale and more diverse business interests will hold advantages over smaller, independent businesses.
Among the changes that have been seen in consumption habits in Romania due to the COVID-19 pandemic are the increased attention being paid by consumers to products and brands of local origin. This trend has proven lucrative for both by domestic retailers and international chains, with the category leader Profi Rom Food increasingly focused on offering local products, During 2021 Profi Rom Food officially launched a programme named “Proaspete de la noi” (Fresh from us), through which the retailer facilitates direct access to the shelves of Profi stores for Romanian farmers, in this way offering consumers access to locally cultivated fruit and vegetables.
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Chained grocery retail outlets selling a wide range of groceries and fitting several of the following characteristics: Extended opening hours Selling area of less than 400 sq metres Located in residential neighbourhoods Handling two or more of the following product categories: audio-visual goods (for sale or rent), foodservice (prepared take-away, made-to-order, and hot foods), newspapers or magazines, cut flowers or pot plants, greetings cards, automotive accessories. Sales data excludes foodservice sales. Example brands include 7-Eleven, Spar. Note: The number of branches required to be termed chained varies from country to country but is usually ten or more. If a multinational is operating in the country, then this is included, even if there are fewer than ten outlets under the brand.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Convenience Stores research and analysis database.
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