Although the main player in the channel, Studio Moderna, registered record high sales in 2018 and will likely surpass this in 2019, the variety store channel in Romania remained a niche. Its overall value sales are low when compared with other channels, and there appear no real prospects of a major increase in sales.
Miniso Home Romania entered the channel in 2018 and has plans to quickly expand and become a major player. The company has said its aim is to reach 40 stores in modern shopping centres across the country.
Despite the entry of Miniso, competition in the channel remained weak in 2018 as the two players present targeted different consumer groups. Over time, Studio Moderna has invested in its brands and tried to cater for consumers interested in more premium products.
Although new player Miniso entered the channel in 2018, Studio Moderna continued to dominate sales. Indeed, Miniso only entered variety stores during the autumn of 2018, opening just three outlets.
If Miniso succeeds in becoming a local chain and reaches its desired size, there is every chance that it could take the leading position in variety stores from Studio Moderna over the forecast period. Miniso should benefit from the fact that its products are perceived as of a decent quality.
The presence of variety store players online remained limited or non-existent in 2018, a fact which seems strange given that the internet accounted for a large share of the sales of retailers present in other channels. The issue for Studio Moderna is that if it develops its online presence, this will affect its teleshopping sales.
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