the number of stores has increased by 36%, while the market dropped by 19% in same period. We expect further expansion of about 12% in 2012, mostly in Poland and Romania.
Taking into account the total number of DIY retail stores in the Central European region, the biggest number operates in Poland. The country has more DIY outlets than in all five other Central European states combined. “Poland is the leader by the number of new stores opened per year. However, the biggest percentage increase is observable in Romania, as it has almost doubled storecount in the last four years, despite economic turmoil. On the other hand, the Czech Republic witnessed just a 14% increase in same period which was affected by both the crisis and also the long history of DIY retailers’ presence in this country. The country where new entries almost stopped is Hungary due to the unfavourable economic condition since 2008,” Jarosław Frontczak, a Retail Analyst at PMR, says.
Romania and Bulgaria, two least developed countries in Central Europe, witnessed dynamic expansion. Yet, after the introduction of the DIY format in Bulgaria in 2000, there was a steady growth in both the number of outlets and their selling area. The boom in the industry followed the high construction activity seen in 2004-2008. Since then, it has slowed down and levelled on 43 stores last year. “In the last three years, after the beginning of the crisis, expansion in Bulgaria has been just below the average for Central European countries. Romania, however, witnessed the second largest expansion in Central Europe, as the number of stores increased by 42%,” Jarosław Frontczak explains. The company that has expanded the most in the past two years is Dedeman, which managed to overtake Praktiker and become a local market leader.
Between 2000 and 2010 an average of 27 chain stores opened each year in Poland. Last year as many as 65 new stores were opened. “In the last three years, the number has increased by more than a half, which is the best result in Central Europe,” Jarosław Frontczak explains. Moreover, retailers’ plans for next few years involve further expansion – at least 50 outlets in the current year. On the other hand, the expansion in the Czech Republic will slow down. Although in the long-term perspective all current players reveal expansion plans, they plan to open about 20 units in the next three years.
Hungarian retailers developed steadily till 2008. Since then, most retailers stopped opening new outlets and the number of stores has increased only by 3% in last three years, which is the lowest growth in Central Europe. Moreover, the expansion till the end of 2014 will be limited due to the Act on the Formation and Protection of the Built Environment, the so-called shopping mall ban, under which the construction of commercial buildings with a floor area exceeding 300 m2 and the expansion of existing commercial buildings over the floor area of 300 m2 is prohibited.
The Slovak market expands dynamically. The number of stores has increased by 31% since the world crisis erupted. Yet the market has been somehow avoided by the largest international chains. Nevertheless, three new players chose Slovakia as an ideal location for further expansion. First of all, Bauhaus is preparing to inaugurate its first hypermarket, secondly Market Majster, from neighbouring Poland and thirdly Avex Baumarkt, which envisages space for its approximately 20-25 medium-sized outlets, all in medium-sized cities.
This press release is based on information contained in the latest PMR report entitled “DIY retail in Central Europe 2012. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2012-2014”.