It is clear that the Croatian market is held by several strong companies, according to data from the Agency for the Protection of Market Competition, the top five domestic grocery retailers held last year about 65 percent of the market, and the top ten covered more than 80 percent.
Meanwhile, retail trade in Croatia is recovering for the third year in a row. According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, the real growth of retail sales in 2014 was modest 0.4 percent, last year’s healthier 2.4 percent, and in the 2016. a solid 4.4 percent.
Following the latest development, after takeover of Billa, SPAR has turned into one of the major players on Croatian retail market with Konzum, Plodine, Lidl and Kaufland . The biggest retailer, Agrokor’s Konzum, is still far behind the competition but the recent crisis in Agrokor group which owns Konzum will have substantial effects on the operations of that retail chain from now on. It is likely that restructuring process will bring the closure of about one hundred Konzum’s unprofitable outlets. In such circumnstances, an intense struggle for market dominance is taking place especially between foreign retail chains.
For the first time in Croatia’s business history, Lidl gained EUR 530 mio turnover, which is 7.75% growth and they occupied a second position just behind Konzum. This year, judging by well-known information and market trends, it should be a year of Spar. Last year, they sold EUR 350 mio worth of goods, up two percent, but taking in account their takeover of Billa (which has a turnover of 227 mio EUR in 2016) and opening of a number of new shops on the coast. It can therefore be calculated that only this year Spar will have more than 570 mio EUR of turnover and with a little wind in the back, SPAR could even take over Lidl second position.