Lithuania flag Lithuania: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Lithuania

Evolution of the Sector
Today, the retail and wholesale trade represents 18,2% of the total economic activity in Lithuania, according to the ministry of Economy. The Lithuanian retail market is dominated by large hypermarkets with Maxima Stores holding 50% of the market share. Next 40% of the retail market is shared by IKI, Norfa, RIMI and PRISMA, principally. Independent retail stores hold about 10% of the market share. The entry of the Lidl discount chain in summer of 2016 is likely to greatly influence the shape of the Lithuanian market. Over the next few years Lithuania is expected to continue to achieve solid economic growth.

A majority of product distribution and sales is currently carried out by private distribution networks. Since the country's independence, a large number of private specialised stores (do it yourself, ready-to-wear...) were created. Concerning distribution networks, there are generally import companies that possess their own store or have obtained exclusivity for foreign brand distribution. These companies hold simultaneously the function of importers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers. There are a few large stores, such as Univermag. It is the same for franchised stores. The cash and carry format has gained popularity quickly, as small, traditional retailers appreciate the wide selection of products sold at competitive prices. Indeed, most of the major chains in the cash and carry channel target small, traditional retailers, HRI outlets, and institutions.

Supermarkets are nearly inexistent in Lithuania and are restricted to the food sector, where various shop chains (Economia, IKI...) share the market. These companies hold supermarkets with a surface exceeding 1,000 m² and are located in the country's main cities. Most of the products are imported and the prices offered, especially for fruits and vegetables, are not very competitive with the prices of the local market that remain very popular for the local population. The entry of the Lidl discount chain in summer of 2016 is likely to change the current market structure. Lidl plans about 80 perspective locations for future development.
Market share

Large-scale retail is without doubt one of the most thriving sectors in Lithuania and major brands in the industry are owned by national companies. The sector is closely linked to land-use planning as supermarkets must first and foremost be easily accessible for their customers who choose where to shop largely based on the accessibility. Since the declaration of independence and accession to the European Union, foreign companies have sought to enter the Lithuanian market and develop large shopping centres and brand names.
Major retailers include:

Retail Sector Organisations
Association of Lithuanian Trade Enterprises
Lithuania Direct Selling Association
Association of the Lithuanian Chambers of Commerce
Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania

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Latest Update: July 2022

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