The green trend is big again in Croatia, after experiencing a hiatus during the credit crunch over 2009-2015. As the public laments the downfall of Croatian agriculture, consumers are willing to support it by buying local, but the opportunities to do so are limited.
Only parts of other grocery retailers are consolidated, led by newsagents/tobacconists, which have formed two large nationwide chains. Because of their size, independent players cannot become competitive enough against large companies that can offer lower prices and wider product portfolios.
Whilst the leading grocer Konzum had to close more than 100 outlets throughout the country over the last two years of the review period, some of the independently owned corner shops managed to establish themselves as outlets for regular visits by locals. Whether it is due to lack of transportation means or lack of desire to travel larger outlets outside towns, or simply a habit or need to get something ad hoc, there is a stable clientele at these shops, not making them very profitable, but enough to keep them solvent.
As in modern grocery retailers, Agrokor Group is the lead GBO amongst traditional grocery retailers, and, as its insolvency crisis has affected other NBOs, Tisak was one of the subsidiaries to suffer the most. Already weakened over the review period due to a fall in tobacco sales, its main source of revenue, this newsagent/tobacconist chain already had an identity crisis, deciding how to actually position itself.
Between 2013 and 2018, so many outlets were closed that there are not that many of them left; more than 1,200 traditional grocery retailer outlets closed over the review period and another 370 outlets are expected to be lost over the forecast period. Croatia has a distinct lack of chained independent grocers.
After acquiring TDR in 2017, the now largest tobacco company in the world, British American Tobacco, unexpectedly gained possession of the newsagent/tobacconist chain iNovine, an operation that does not fit into its core activities. Whilst initially trying to divest of the company, even trying to offload it to its main competitor Tisak (rejected by the anti-cartel agency), BAT Hrvatska still retains ownership of this traditional grocery retailer, and has even extended its reach by acquiring some similar retailers in the region.
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