published: 20.01.2014, 15:20 | updated: 20.01.2014 15:22:33
Prague - Smaller stores are the main place to shop for foods for 12 percent of Czech households, the lowest amount in 16 years, while in 1997 it was 62 percent of households, according to the Shopping Monitor 2014 study of the company Incoma GfK.
Discount outlets and hypermarkets are now given preference. Czechs say they select places to buy food and essential non-food items taking into account the assortment, discounts and overall price levels in stores.
Compared with the period before the crisis, price cuts have become increasingly important for people when deciding on where to shop for necessities.
The ongoing expansion of hypermarkets and discount stores is making them better accessible for customers of small shops, said Pavel Cabal of Incoma GfK.
The Shopping Monitor 2014 study shows that the average number of monthly visits to small shops, unlike other shop formats, has been falling markedly in the past four years.
Zdenek Juracka, president of the Association of Trade and Tourism, said small stores are becoming more important as a place where people buy other than essential goods. This, however, does not mean that their turnover cannot be higher than that of large stores, said Juracka, who is also the head of COOP stores.
A solution for small format shops can be their integration into chains, said Pavel Kulhavy, a retail expert at PwC Audit.
Small shops will not disappear from the Czech market but the amount of independent small stores will be falling, he added.
The study showed that 44 percent of households last year spent most of their incomes on food and toiletries in hypermarkets and 17 percent in supermarkets.
One quarter of consumers preferred shopping in discount chains last year.
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