The aim of the protection of market competition is primarily to create benefits for consumers and equal conditions for all entrepreneurs on the market, who, acting in accordance with the existing rules and competing on the market with the quality, price and innovation of their products and services, contribute to the overall development of the economy.

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CCA Groceries Retail Market Inquiry for 2022: Changes in the top 10 and continuous well-structured market

The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) carried out the Groceries retail market investigation (including food, beverages and toiletries and household supplies) in Croatia for 2022. The sample included 45 undertakings that, according to their realized turnover, represented the largest undertakings operating in the grocery retail market.

Three retailers were less in the 2022 sample compared to the previous 2021 market research, Pemo, Lonia Trgovina and Trgostil. Pemo and Lonia trgovina were integrated into Studenac (Studenac Market) and deleted as such from the court register in March 2023 (Pemo) and in May 2023 (Lonia Trgovina), respectively. The undertaking Trgostil d.d. was merged with the undertaking Trgovina Krk d.d. on 21 2022 and was deleted from the court register on 10 November 2022. Trgovina Krk d.d. took over all obligations and rights held by Trgostil. This was a transaction within the Čakovečki mlinovi Group.

The turnover from grocery retail in the Republic of Croatia of all undertakings from the sample in 2022 amounted to HRK 50.2 billion. In 2022, a nominal groceries retail turnover growth of HRK 6.8 billion was recorded compared to the previous 2021, when it amounted to HRK 43.4 billion, showing that the grocery retail market rose by 15.7%.

For the first time, the combined turnover of the retailers from the sample exceeded HRK 50 billion, which was certainly influenced by the general inflation trends and especially in the part related to the food and non-alcoholic beverages component in the consumer price index.

In 2022, there was a total of 4,996 sales outlets of the sampled retailers, which rose by 171 compared to the previous 2021, representing a growth of 3.5%.

The total net sales space of all sales outlets of the surveyed undertakings in 2022 amounted to just under 1.54 million square meters, recording an increase in net sales space of 31,700 square meters compared to the previous 2021, representing a growth of 2.1%.

Market structure and trends in retail groceries market in 2021

Konzum plus was the largest grocery retailer in 2022. Its market share in the observed 2022 amounted to 20-30% and recorded a slight decline in market share compared to 2021, despite a double-digit turnover growth in groceries retail. In 2022, it had 628 sales outlets (in the previous 2021 it had 620 outlets).

It should be emphasized here that the Konzum plus market share, as well as all other retailers’ market shares, are shown as a range of data and not in an exact amount due to the fact that they were derived from the submitted data which were marked as business secrets by the retailers themselves. It should also be noted that turnover amounts in this communication are expressed in Croatian Kuna considering that this is research for 2022 and the data were requested by and submitted to the CCA by the retailer in this currency.

Furthermore, the trend of increasing turnover in groceries retail of the Schwarz Group members continued. In 2022, Lidl recorded double-digit turnover growth according to relative indicators. Lidl’s market share in the observed 2022 amounted to 10-20%. The other Schwarz Group member, Kaufland, also recorded the rise in its turnover and market share in the range between 5-10%. Overall, both Schwarz Group members had a combined market share of 20-30% in 2022.

The turnover growth in the groceries retail in the observed 2022 was recorded by 39 retailers. For the sake of comparison, in the previous 2021, a total of 38 retailers indicated a turnover rise compared to 2020.

The highest nominal rise in groceries retail turnover in 2022 was recorded by Studenac, followed by Lidl, Konzum plus (all three recorded growth of more than one billion Kuna). They were followed by Plodine, Spar and Kaufland (nominal growth ranges between HRK 500 million and one billion). Studenac’s significant turnover rise in 2022 was primarily the result of the integration of Pemo, Lonia Trgovina and smaller local retailers Duravit and Kordun. Studenac remained in first place in 2022 by number of sales outlets (1,200 outlets), but they are predominantly of small format such as small stores and supermarkets.

In 2022, Eurospin’s market share at the national level rose significantly, which moved this retailer from the 17th to the 13th position.

In the observed year 2022, both regional retailers and retailers such as Ribola, Boso, KTC, Mlin i pekare, and NTL experienced revenue growth in the retail trade of mixed goods ranging from 50 to 100 million kuna. Some smaller local retailers, such as La-vor Trade and Djelo, Trgocentar, Zabok, Bakmaz, Slavonija-Bošković, and Robin (all grew in the range of 20 to 40 million kuna).

The “Top 10” in 2022 looks like this: Konzum plus, Lidl, Plodine, Spar, Kaufland, Studenac, Tommy, KTC, Trgovina Krk, NTL.

The change in 2022 compared to 2021 is that Trgovina Krk is positioned for the first time in the “Top 10” retailers in terms of revenue from retail trade of mixed goods, ranking ninth. Additionally, Spar jumped to the fourth position, and Studenac to the sixth position.

The highest increase in market share among the top ten retailers in the retail trade of mixed goods in 2022 compared to the previous year 2021 is observed by Studenac, followed by Lidl and Trgovina Krk. There is a growth in the market share of the regional retailer Trgovina Krk primarily as a result of adding the revenue of the associated entrepreneur Trgostil (Čakovečki mlinovi Group).