Traditional grocery retailers continued to decline in both current value terms and in terms of the number of outlets in 2018, which was due to struggling rural stores, rising wage pressures, a lack of investment and lagging innovation. Independent small grocers in rural regions of the Czech Republic struggled to generate value sales due to insufficient consumer demand.
Many independent grocery retailers in small villages will not survive without state or municipal support. The Czech government is considering elevating grocery stores in underserved areas to public service status.
Traditional grocery retailers is very fragmented compared to other grocery channels in the Czech Republic. Apart from tobacco and drink specialist retailers, the channel saw very little consolidation or M&A activity over the review period; however, a growing tendency of traditional grocery retailers is entering into franchising agreements or alliances established by the country’s major wholesalers or cooperatives, such as Coop or Hruska; however, franchising and alliance conditions inadvertently lead to rebranding and repurposing of small grocers into chained convenience stores.
Slovak distribution company Mediaprint-Kapa Pressegrosso acquired one of the leading tobacco specialist store chains in the Czech Republic – Tabak Valmont. The company was already present in the country through its daughter company PressMedia, which operates another chain of tobacco specialist stores – GGT Tabak Tisk.
The chain of tobacco specialist stores, GECO tabak - tisk, managed to increase its value share of traditional grocery retailers in 2018 and remained the overall leader. The company finished its large-scale store modernisation at the beginning of 2018 and also opened several stores throughout the year.
PMU CZ, the operator of the largest chain of butchers in the Czech Republic – Prochazka – continued to optimise its store network and increase its profitability. Since its 2014 takeover by Czech industry conglomerate Agrofert, the company has had a greater focus on outlets within major grocery retailers, especially Kaufland, Lidl and Penny Market.
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