Within grocery, traditional retailers are the dominant format in Bolivia, generating around ten times the value of sales generated in modern grocery retail. Typically, these outlets serve a hyper-localised consumer base, offering a limited range of products, a focus on lower prices and frequently rudimentary forms of home delivery and consumer credit.
The return to traditional grocery retailers spurred by the pandemic has seen local operators invest in overhauling their offer. Historically, traditional grocery outlets have been perceived as perceived as disorganised with limited infrastructure and product choice.
Historically, traditional grocery retailers have been strictly cash-only operations, although many of them offer a form of rudimentary credit. The pandemic has forced many of them to modernize; fear of transmission meant that most people were reluctant to handle cash.
Many traditional grocery retailers in Bolivia are seeking to strengthen their competitive positioning against the encroachment of modern grocery retailers. This will involve a degree of formalization, which will be a challenge to the traditional channel over the forecast period, especially as the use of electronic payment increases, and large brand operators seek to strengthen their cooperative activities in the sector.
Although independent neighbourhood stores have seen strengthening sales in 2021, as the pandemic led more people to shop close to home, this trend is set to weaken as the economy reopens. However, many consumers will continue to work from home if possible, a trend that should sustain growth in traditional grocery, and the investment in improving offer will make the channel more of a competitive threat to supermarkets going forward.
A significant part of the Bolivian population continues to buy food, personal care items and other household products at street markets. In recent years, these street stalls have begun a process of relocation to enclosed markets built with a combination of private and municipal government investment.
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Traditional grocery retailing is the aggregation of those channels that are invariably non-chained and are, therefore, owned by families and/or run on an individual basis. For Euromonitor traditional grocery retailing is the aggregation of three channels: Independent Small Grocers, Food/Drink/Tobacco Specialists and Other Grocery Retailers. While there can be modern (i.e. chained) food/drink/tobacco specialists or other grocery retailers, due to the store's presence in the channel, these stores are still considered as traditional for Euromonitor International.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Traditional Grocery Retailers research and analysis database.
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