Distribution Networks in Austria
Types of Outlet
- Department stores
Clothes, Cosmetics, Jewelry, Food.
Woolworth F W Co GesmbH (in German)
- Supermarkets and hypermarkets
Groceries, general merchandise.
- Convenience stores
General food, drink, everyday products.
Metro Cash and carry
- Discount stores
Variety of goods including clothes, cosmetics, and general merchandise of daily use.
- Cooperative stores
Food products, convenience goods.
Konsum Österreich (KÖ)
- Drug Stores
- Specialized stores
Designer clothes and wares- furniture, home accessories.
Evolution of the Retail Sector
- Growth and Regulation
Despite being a relatively small country, Austria is an important strategic player because it is geographically located at the crossroads of the European Union. Today, the Austrian market is saturated in all major sectors and in order to penetrate this market advertising is a must; all the more so because Austrian consumers are becoming less price sensitive and care more about in-store customer service.
The principal trading zones of the country are Vienna, Vorarlberg and Burgenland, with important areas like Styria and Tirol.
- Market Shares
In 2004, nearly 80% of the retail market in Austria was controlled by foreign companies, with German companies having a strong presence. In fact, Germany plays a very important role in Austrian commerce, and it owns more than 15% of the capital invested in some 500 companies.
Since 1995, Austria has set its sites on Eastern European countries, thus changing its import channels. This phenomenon further strengthened after 2005 with the entry of these countries into the European Union.
In 2003, the retail food market was valued at 14.3 billion euros, an increase of 3.9% as compared to 2002. Two groups dominate this market:
- Rewe austria (German origin) has a 30.2% market-share and is the market leader in the food distribution.
- Spar (Austrian origin) has 28.2% of the market-share.
Discount stores also constitute a huge market as they account for 25.6% of the total turnover of the retail food market. Hofer controls 16.2% of the market-share which is far beyond Lidl with only 2.6%.
Food distribution is very consolidated and is dominated by a few big groups which control 2/3rd of total sales in the country. Amongst these, the major foreign groups are Bipa dealing in drugstores, Lutz and Ikea dealing in furniture.
The retail market is dominated by big German groups like Markant and Metro. The largest chain of stores in the country belongs to the group Billa.
- Organizations in the Retail Sector
Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
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