Polish Convenience Store Sector Booms

Poland’s proximity supermarket sector continues to expand. In December 2017, Emerging Europe reported that the Lithuanian Maxima Group had signed an investment agreement to acquire Stokrotka, a chain of 410 convenience stores in Poland. Carrefour Express, Delikatesy Centrum, Żabka and Dino have all increased their market share over the past several years. The latter added 147 new stores to its network in 2017 alone.

“In 2017 we opened a record-breaking number of new stores,” Szymon Piduch, the CEO of Dino Polska, told Business Insider Polska. “In line with our announcements, we exceeded the number of new store openings we achieved in 2016. We accelerated the pace of opening new stores in H2 2017, especially in Q4. We are also gradually enlarging our land bank to build new stores. The business model we have adopted in conjunction with owning our own land and real estate affords us greater operating flexibility while facilitating rapid growth.”

At the end of December 2017, the retail chain had 775 branches. In quarter four alone Dino opened 57 new locations, with a total sales area of 295,000 sq m. Dino now employs 12,900 people, compared to 10,600 in 2016.

According to Mr Piduch, success in 2017 has come in large part thanks to the current economic climate in Poland and the fact that consumer spending is increasing.

“We are growing faster than the market,” he said. “The macroeconomic environment and overall market conditions are providing us with an additional tailwind. Income and consumer spending are on the rise while our supermarket model is fully aligned to consumer trends. In 2018, we expect to see these positive trends continue.”

The rapid growth of the Dino brand has been largely attributed to the fact that they own majority of the land and real estate where their stores are located. Going forward, their medium-term strategic goal is to increase their number of stores to over 1200 by 2020.

In November 2017, Poland’s ruling party passed a law that will ban stores opening on Sundays. The ban is set to commence in March 2018, but will be introduced gradually. In March shops will remain open on two Sundays, in April just one.

The only stores that will be benefit from the ban and be allowed to trade on Sundays will be those at petrol stations. State owned PKN Orlen looks to benefit the most from this as it has a network of 1758 service station throughout Poland. As such Orlen plans to set up its own logistics and warehousing centre to be able to supply its stores with various products. They plan on trading in goods such as, meat, cold cuts, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, confectionary, cosmetics, pharmaceutical items, home electronics and clothing.