Traditions of shopping at bazaars for a wide-range of products, from fruit and vegetables to apparel and footwear, continue to dominate the behaviour of Uzbekistani consumers. Moreover, the strength of traditional bazaars is reinforced by the fact that most Uzbekistani’s inhabit rural regions with limited access to modern retailing formats.
The Uzbekistani Government’s plans and policies are significantly changing the environment in which retailers operate in the market. The liberalisation of currency regulations and efforts to encourage foreign investment in the country have the potential to intensify competition across retailing channels.
Internet retailing is still in the early stages of emergence in Uzbekistan. However, it is likely to see its expansion accelerated by a government focus on creating favourable conditions for the channel’s development, including granting electronic receipts for online transactions the same status as physical receipts and introducing The National Register of Electronic Commerce Entities in 2018, with companies on the register becoming subject to a single payment tax rate of 2%.
Anglesey Food’s ascent to the top of the rankings in overall retailing highlighted some key factors at play in the Uzbekistani market at the end of the review period. In particular, the supermarket operator saw growth driven by the rapid expansion of its store network as it prepared for a potential intensification of competition resulting from the government’s liberalisation of currency regulations and efforts to encourage foreign investment in the market.
Population growth, rising consumer purchasing power, expanding store networks, increasing foreign investment and the growing influence of Western trends are all expected to play a part in driving growth in retailing in the Uzbekistani market over the forecast period. The fact that the majority of the population is still set to inhabit rural areas in 2023 will support the ongoing strength and expansion of traditional grocery retailers during the forecast period.
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