Recent years have been marked by a decline in the popularity of hypermarkets for the benefit of smaller shops located close to home or the consumer’s workplace – discount stores and small, modern grocery stores. Initially, this trend seemed to apply only to the canal of the largest stores located in large cities or in their suburbs. However, all indications are that a local variation of this trend in smaller towns and cities is hitting the supermarket channel.
In August 2018. Tesco has announced the planned closure of 13 stores. Following this process, the chain will consist of 399 stores, 56 less than Tesco at its peak in 2013. Interestingly, the vast majority of stores closed since then have been supermarkets and compact hypermarkets, and Tesco has practically not closed its largest stores. The number of supermarkets was also reduced by Intermarche – at the end of 2017 the chain had 231 outlets, now there are 222 of them. Piotr and Paweł, who has just been the subject of sanitation proceedings, closed 16 outlets in 2018 and now has 132. Despite numerous announcements, the company has not presented a new investor (the most serious candidates included Jeronimo Martins and Carrefour).
The answer to the question what is behind the problems of large supermarkets is simple – the dynamic development of the so-called proximity supermarkets. This notion covers small establishments (300-400 m2) of chains such as Delikatesy Centrum, Dino or Stokrotka. They develop dynamically all over Poland, and despite their limited space, they are able to offer all the basic products expected by customers, similarly to discounts in large cities. The question of how the aforementioned networks will react remains open. At the end of 2017. Tesco informed that it plans to test a completely new supermarket concept in Central Europe, but so far no new information has appeared.