17022019Headline:

Supermarket sales to grow by 0.5 pct in 2019, IELKA survey says

Supermarket sales are expected to rise slightly, while the country’s economic climate is expected to improve further in the next six months, supermarket executives said in a survey released by the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA) on Monday.

The six-month survey was conducted on a sample of 156 senior and high-ranking executives in the period January 15-26, 2019.

The survey showed that 33 pct of executives expected an increase in sales in the next six months, while 21 pct expect a decline. The increase is the biggest recorded in the last three years. Supermarket executives expect an average weighted 0.5 pct increase in sales in the January-June 2019 period, compared with the same period in 2018. Among respondents, 52 pct said that economic conditions remained unchanged in 2018, 24 pct said that they deteriorated and another 24 pct said they improved.

Supermarket executives said their biggest problems were an environment of uncertainty (59 pct), high VAT (45 pct), lower sales (38 pct), low profitability (34 pct), bureaucracy (28 pct), changes in consumer habits (26 pct), operating costs (26 pct), mergers and acquisitions (21 pct), difficulty/cost of bank borrowing (20 pct) and hiring talent (18 pct).

The survey said that the priorities of the majority of enterprises in the sector were innovation and investments.