Cyprus & World News

CYPRUS: Supermarket chains looking to expand as demand grows

06 August, 2018

A number of new supermarkets are expected to open across the island in the coming months as consumer demand and purchasing power is back on the rise following the recession.

Existing supermarket chains are looking for a bigger slice of the pie while foreign companies are also interested in investing in Cyprus.

Annual turnover by supermarkets, mini-markets and fruit and vegetable stores is estimated at €1.5 bln, with the supermarket chains generating 70% of that total, according to financial website Stockwatch.

Business is on an upward curve with the retail sector sales up 6.2% in 2017 on the year before and purchases with credit cards are up 8.6% this year.

According to credit card clearing agency, JCC purchases at supermarkets exceeded €750 mln in 2017 from €600 mln in 2016.

Which is why five new supermarkets are scheduled to open before the end of the year.

The first Spar supermarket is expected to open in central Larnaca after the summer. Spar International, in cooperation with Ermes, plans to open 20 supermarkets over a five-year period, said Stockwatch.

Alpha-Mega is also on the move with plans to open two new supermarkets in Nicosia (Lakatamia) and Paphos while Papantoniou (Engomi) and Athienities (Nicosia Mall) are looking for a foothold in the capital.

Lidl, a presence in Cyprus since 2010, also aims to expand its network of 17 outlets to 20 with three more stores by 2020.

Supermarkets seemed to have survived the financial crisis and were one of the few employers who didn’t downsize.

The retail industry is a major employer with around 69,000 jobs making up 19% of the local workforce and there is optimism the sector is big enough to withstand more supermarket competition which should be good for consumers price wise.