• Just eight of the 100 biggest companies in the retail sector reported losses in 2016. It came in slightly over nine billion levs.
The figure refers to the combined turnover of the top 100 retailers in Bulgaria in 2016 - a healthy increase of 10% year-on-year, following a rise of 11% in 2015. The top retail chain, Kaufland Bulgaria, accounted for 18% of the total turnover of the 100 best-performing companies.
The most numerous among the top 100 retailers are the supermarket chains (31), followed by the ones selling clothes, shoes and sports goods (17), equipment (16). Next come do-it-yourself stores (14), retailers of cosmetics (12), furniture (8) and toys (2).
The retail chains with the biggest profit and loss, respectively, are in the Foods sector: Kaufland is the leader with a profit of over 84.4 million levs, while the T Market chain of supermarkets generated the biggest loss - 11.7 million levs. Apparel trader Massimo Dutti, a part of Spanish group Inditex, scored the highest profitability rate of 22%. Multimediyna Rabotilnitsa (The Multimedia Workshop), operating in the Home appliances Sector, had the highest growth rate with an increase of revenues of 102% - from 14.3 to 28.8 million levs. Technomarket, the company with the most tangible decline of revenues, of 36%, operates in the same sector.
It is not a big surprise that the companies of the Foods and Home appliances sectors are in the top 10 group. Four supermarket chains: Kaufland, Metro Cash&Carry, Lidl and Billa, which have their parent companies located in German-speaking countries, are the leaders. The other retailers within this group are the Bulgarian supermarket chain Fantastico, Tabak Market (Lafka) kiosks specialized in the sale of cigarettes, beverages, confectionery and newspapers, and T Market (a brand of Lithuania's Maxima Grupe). The Home Appliances sector is represented by the Bulgarian Technomarket, Technopolis and Zora.
The combined turnover of the top 10 retailers is 5.65 billion levs, or 61% of the total sales of the big 100. The remaining 39% share of the market is distributed among 90 retailers.
Of these ten sectoral giants, all but one reported growth of sales in 2016. The average increase in the top 10 group is 8%.
Technomarket is the only one to report a decline. Until recently, the company was the leader among the retailers of household appliances and enjoyed steady growth. After several changes of ownership and due to its connection to bankrupt Corporate Commercial Bank, at present the retail chain is within the orbit of Movement for Rights and Freedoms MP Delyan Peevski and its market share and sales have been dwindling. In 2015, the company switched positions in the ranking with its long-time rival Technopolis that had been number two until then.
Two of the 10 biggest retailers reported losses last year: Tabak Market and Maxima Bulgaria - T Market, with 8.9 million levs and 11.7 million levs, respectively. Three of the supermarket chains in the group - Kaufland, Lidl and Fantastico - have a profit of over 20 million levs.
From 11th to 50th
The sales of the 40 retailers ranking from 11th to 50th totaled around 2.5 billion levs in 2016. Unlike the top 10, however, the total sales of this group increased much more - by 14%. Within this group, only two retailers reported losses in 2016: Alta Mar, operating the Subra chain of pharmacies, and German-owned hypermarket HIT.
Within this group, the chain with the highest growth rate in the cosmetics sector is the Medea pharmacies (46) with a 71% annual increase of turnover. The company also grew profit by more than 300%, to 642 thousand levs. The group also includes most of the big toy traders - Jumbo (12) and Hippoland (29), the clothing and shoe wear retailers (eight companies), practically the whole Do-it-yourself sector (Praktiker, Mr. Bricolage and Baumax), the bigger traders of construction materials and seven companies of the Cosmetics sector.
There is a considerably higher number of regional retailers among the top 50 (see more in the following text). An international giant such as Swedish home furnishings retailer IKEA has not made it into the top 10 group with its only store in Bulgaria. Bulgarian furniture producer and retailer, the Videnov Group (23) and furniture retailer Aiko (26) are also in the first half of the ranking alongside with IKEA. These three companies achieved sales growth of over 10% each last year largely due to increased activity in the construction sector and the real estate market.
The second half
The sales of the 50 retailers in the second half of the ranking totaled slightly over 1.2 billion levs in 2016. In this group, there are retailers of consumer goods (14), Clothing and shoe wear (9), Do-it-yourself and Home Appliances (8), Furniture (6) and Cosmetics (5).
It this part of the ranking Multimedia Workshop company is with the highest revenue growth of 102% among the top 100 last year. According to the company's 2016 financial report, its profit rose strongly as a result of increased sales. Multimedia Workshop is a representative of Apple for Bulgaria and the only licensed training center of the US brand in the country.