European retailers head east

The EHI observed 117 market debuts (43 of which were by German companies) in central and eastern Europe between 1989 and 2001. With regard to eastern European sales outlets in 2001, Portuguese supermarket chain Jéronimo Martins led the pack with 625 outlets in Poland, followed by the Rewe Group (Germany) with 390 branches in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, Ahold (the Netherlands) with 339 outlets (not including the ICA participations in the Baltic Region) and Tengelmann (Germany) with 321 stores.

Russia is also becoming more attractive to retailers, as witnessed by IKEA, Marktkauf, Metro and Auchan's recent market entries. At a retail congress in Moscow organised in cooperation with the EHI, Lord Mayor Luzhkov noted the Greater Moscow area will see an additional one million square metres of retail space in 2002. An information exchange will be set up at the world's largest fair for investments in retail, EuroShop, in Düsseldorf (23 – 27 February 2002).