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Concentration continues on Hungary's retail market

The number of retail units in Hungary rose by 143 units or 0.1% in the first half of 2006 to 166,881 on June 30, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) reported on Tuesday.

The number of shops fell almost 300 in the first quarter, but rose more than 400 in the second quarter. The number of family-run shops fell by about 1,500 in the twelve months to June 30, showing increasing concentration in the market.
The number of shops rose by a moderate 981, or 0.6% in the twelve months to June 30, but the number of closures and openings remained high at 14%. Total business space rose 277,000 square meters in H1, including a 21,000-square-metre increase in the second quarter, to 17.6 million square meters on June 30. The average space per store rose slightly from 104 square meters at the end of 2005 to 105 square meters.
The second quarter saw the opening of several large retail units, including new Buy-Way and Tesco units in the outskirts of Budapest, a Kika store in Győr and an Electro World unit in Budapest, KSH noted.
In Q2 2006, the number of retail units rose in all regions of Hungary, with the exception of Northern Hungary. The number of units increased the most in the Southern Great Plain region, rising 0.6%, and in Central Hungary, rising 0.5%. In H1 2006, the concentration of retail businesses in Budapest and Central Hungary, where the capital is located, continued. Budapest accounted for 19.6% of all retail businesses and Central Hungary accounted for 29.5% of the total. The Central Transdanubian region accounted for 14.7% of all retail units, and the Northern Great Plain region accounted for 14.7%.
The decline seen in the number of FMCG shops over the past several years continued in H1 2006 due to further concentration among supermarkets. The number of supermarkets fell by almost 1,000 in the twelve months to June 30, and their ratio within all retail units fell to 28.8%. The number of non-food retail shops rose by 1,600 during the same period.
KSH noted that the number of petrol stations and car parts shops rose a marked 400 during the year to account for 6.9% of all retail businesses. Companies managed 1.49 shops on average at the end of June, up from 1.48 a year earlier, as the market became more concentrated.