The bi1 chain will open a hypermarket in Elk next year. Does this format of shops still have a chance for success in Poland? Among large-format stores, it is the hypermarket channel that has experienced the greatest difficulties in recent years.
Hypermarkets are struggling
In recent years, the hypermarket channel has experienced the greatest difficulties among large-format stores in Poland. As a result, in 2017 and 2018, the value of sales in this market segment decreased. In addition, one of the largest hypermarket chains on the Polish market – Tesco – is experiencing problems. According to PMR’s analyses, the situation in the channel is expected to stabilise in the long term, but the increase in its value will be slight.
The problems of hypermarkets have emerged as a consequence of, among others, the development of other formats of grocery stores, as well as changes in consumer habits. Poles increasingly prefer to make purchases in shops which are smaller and close to where they live. Sociodemographic factors such as the growing number of small households also do not favour the development of this format of shops.
Location at large shopping malls is strong advantage
According to PMR’s analyses, the slow growth in the number of hypermarkets in Poland, which we expect to see in the coming years, will be mainly due to Kaufland, which is the only one planning to open such stores.
Therefore, the information that bi1 chain is planning to open a new hypermarket came as a surprise. The location of the bi1 hypermarket – the store will be opened in the newly opened Karuzela shopping centre in Elk – will undoubtedly be its strong point. The bi1 hypermarket will be located next to several dozen clothing, sports and electronics shops. Currently, apart from smaller hypermarkets, those located near large shopping malls are doing well.
Seven large area shops operate under the bi1 brand in Poland (Bialystok, Bielsko-Biala, Czeladz, Legnica, Rzeszow, Walbrzych and Szczecin). The bi1 chain appeared in Poland in 2015, taking over the former Real stores, which Auchan did not agree to take over.