Retail chains expand, small shops suffer

Telco

jessica fejos

The Hungarian unit of French retailer Auchan projects a more than 10% increase in net turnover this year, CEO Dominique Ducoux said on Thursday. Meanwhile, the retail sector is struggling with a heavy labor shortage, with small shops hit particularly hard.

Auchan, which operates 19 hypermarkets in Hungary, has opened towards smaller-scale stores, having opened its first supermarket in Szekszárd last year and its first superstore in Budapest in April, the CEO said. The company plans to open four new stores this year, including supermarkets in Győr and Zalaegerszeg and another superstore in Sopron, he added, cited by national news agency MTI.

Including its 18 filling stations, Auchan Hungary had gross turnover of HUF 363.5 billion between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018, up 3.7% from a year earlier. Net revenue rose 5.4% to HUF 309.5 bln. After-tax profit increased almost 6% to HUF 3.8 bln.

Auchan Hungary spent HUF 10 bln on developments last year and plans to spend HUF 10-12 bln this year. The company employs almost 7,000 workers.

Meanwhile, the retail sector is struggling with a heavy labor shortage, with about 10,000 vendors missing from stores, current affairs portal hvg.hu reported. Shops are failing to attract more labor, despite significant salary raises. While in 2015 the average gross monthly wage of a shop worker was HUF 148,000, this has risen to HUF 217,000 in 2018.

The situation is even worse for small shops: while large companies pay a gross average salary of HUF 248,000, small companies can barely pay HUF 188,000. The difference is significant, which makes it harder for smaller shops to hire labor, hvg.hu reports. 

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