Romania flag Romania: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Romania

Evolution of the Sector
Distribution of goods and services in Romania is similar to other European countries. Wholesale and retail tiers, and support services such as packaging, warehousing and merchandising, are fully developed in Romania. Modern retail is an about EUR 11 billion market with more than 2,000 stores, dominated by ten international groups. The main modern retail food store formats are hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores, discount stores and cash & carry stores, which make up a EUR 8,8 billion market and 57% market share. The sector continued to expand in 2017, at the same rate (around 8,0% yearly) in as the last few years when 150 to 250 stores have been opened annually.

Romania’s range of retail outlets is likewise European and includes specialty shops, supermarkets, hypermarkets, cash and carry, department stores, gas station convenience stores, do-it yourself shops, kiosks, street vendors, open-air markets and wholesale centers. For several years the local market has been dominated by Carrefour and Cora on the hypermarket (or Big Box) segment, while Metro and Selgros have competed on the cash-and-carry market. The Government is considering legislation that would require large retailers in Romania (with an annual trunover exceeding €2 million/$2.2 million) to purchase at least 51% of total volume of meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, honey, dairy products, and bakery products from local producers and to promote products of Romanian origin.
Market share
The distribution of goods and services in Romania is similar to that of other European countries. The market is made up of Romanian and European mass retailers and includes specialist shops, supermarkets, hypermarkets, cash shops, department stores, convenience stores, DIYers, kiosks, street vendors, open-air markets and wholesalers. Romania is one of the main target markets in Eastern Europe for retailers such as Metro, Carrefour and Selgros, whose local large format stores have had the strongest growth in sales.
The leaders of the Romanian retail sector are Kaufland, Carrefour, Metro Cash & Carry, Auchan, Lidl and Penny Market. They all make more than EUR 1 billion in sales per year.
There are more than 2,350 stores in Romania, the majority of which being convenience stores (989), followed by supermarkets (475) and discount stores (445) (USDA, latest data available).
In 2020, the Lower House (Chamber of Deputies) passed a bill to make substantial changes to the "Supermarket Law", removing the 51% requirement (minimum percentage of meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, honey, dairy and bakery products that supermarkets had to buy from local producers).
Retail Sector Organisations
Association of Romania Commercial Networks (AMRCR)
Romania chamber of commerce
Ministry for Business Environment and Entrepreneurship (in Romanian only)

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Latest Update: May 2024