Consumer retail confidence continues in Croatia.
Turnover in retail trade in Croatia has been continuously growing for 10 months in a row, since August 2014. That is the longest upward trend since 2007, before the onset of the crisis, according to the latest analysis by the Croatian Chamber of Economy. In May 2015, turnover in retail trade in real terms was 4.1 percent higher compared to the same month the year before, reports Poslovni.hr on August 10, 2015.
According to Eurostat data, Internet commerce in Croatia is constantly growing as well. In 2012, 16 percent of customers used internet for online shopping. In 2013, that number increased to 19 percent, and in 2014 to 22 percent. Online shopping has substantial potential and can be an opportunity in the market, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.
“Over the past twenty years, trading has been one of the most developed, most competitive and most propulsive sectors of the economy. However, trade is also a mirror image of macroeconomic trends. It is in direct contact with consumers, and feels all the changes in their spending habits”, said the analysis.
Since 2008, consumer spending had been limited in all years, with the exception of 2011 when the turnover in retail trade grew at an annual rate of one percent. However, from August 2014 to date, retails sales have been continuously increasing once again, which is an indication of positive trends in the country.
“Taking into account the current indicators and conditions in the market, Croatian retail is moving in line with European trends. Traders monitor and take into account changes in the market and seek to successfully respond to the wishes and needs of the consumers. In the coming period, we expect a continuing trend of growth in turnover in the retail sector”, said Ema Culi, director of the Trade Department of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
The analysis shows that Croatian and European macroeconomic indicators confirm the significant impact of trade on the EU economy. On average, the share of retail trade in the GDP in Croatia and in the EU is about 10 percent. Furthermore, every fourth entrepreneur in the European Union is registered in the trade sector. In Croatia, the industry represents more than a quarter of all entrepreneurs.
Number of employees in trade sector in Croatia and the European Union shows that trade is the leading or second biggest employer in the economy. In Croatia, about 15 percent of all employees work in the trade sector. “The main features of the Croatian retail market are concentration, internationalization and consolidation. Market research shows that the top ten local traders account for about 72 percent of the market”, said the analysis. “The internationalization of the trade sector is one of the factors necessary for success. One of the features of Croatian retail market is the vitality and success of regional and local retailers, as evidenced by the entry of some of the local merchants to markets in other counties and in Zagreb.”