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Sweden retailing market reported stronger growth in 2013
Retailing in Sweden - a new market research report on 2014-04-30 00:51:03
The year 2013 proved to be a better one for the retailing industry compared to the two preceding years. Current value growth in 2013 thus accelerated compared to 2012 and 2011, yet did not manage to supersede the review period CAGR and instead was on a par with the growth seen for the review period. This development is in line with the general performance of the Swedish economy, which saw a cautious recovery in late 2012 and 2013, yet did not impress consumers enough to result in more dynamic growth of the Swedish retailing market.

Despite signs of economic recovery, consumers remained price sensitive and cautious with their purchases in 2013. Internet retailing made it easy to compare prices and shop around for the best deal. Many channels are also somewhat mature and characterised by stiff price competition between retailers, including electronics and appliance specialist retailers, apparel specialist retailers and furniture and homewares stores. Consumers were eager to exploit this situation, shopping around for the best deals, waiting for special offers and discount seasons, and even haggling in stores. All of these factors led to a very price competitive market, which contributed to the rather slow growth in 2013.

Grocery retailers saw far more dynamic growth rates than non-grocery retailers. The slow economic recovery was not strong enough to encourage consumers to purchase non-essentials, such as electronics, furniture and luxury clothes. However, the slightly more positive economic situation did manage to encourage consumers to trade up to more premium groceries, which gave the grocery channel a slight boost in 2013. Nevertheless, the most dynamic grocery channels remained discounters and hypermarkets, which are appreciated for their competitive prices, indicating that many consumers were still cautious in their spending in relation to their grocery purchases in 2013.

The Swedish retailing environment was fairly stable in terms of market shares in 2013, with the largest players gaining share while smaller independent retailers lost ground, with some even forced into bankruptcy. Price competition is intense and smaller players simply cannot compete with huge chains that can press prices and otherwise compete with wide product ranges and additional services and facilities, such as large parking lots. Retailing is dominated by three domestic grocery retailer giants - ICA Sverige, Axfood and Coop Sverige - which together accounted for over one-third of all value sales in 2013. Multinational players, such as Dixons Retail (Elgiganten) and Schwarz Beteiligungs (Lidl), are present, but play a minor role, accounting for a minor share of retailing value sales in 2013.

The Swedish retailing market is expected to see a slowly growing constant value development that will be in line with the CAGR seen over the review period. Although the uncertain economic situation will improve slowly and help drive growth, the development will be sluggish and consumers will behave cautiously in the retailing market. The grocery retailing channel will be the main driver of growth, while non-grocery retailers will see a more flat development, due to intense price competition. Cheaper outlet channels, such as discounters, hypermarkets, variety stores and mass merchandisers, are predicted to see the strongest growth, particularly in the short term after which time growth rates will settle down as the economic situation improves towards the end of the forecast period.

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