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01 03 2007

The Competition Council undertook to assess the situation of the major trading networks in the Lithuanian retail market.

The analysis of the situation showed that the major trading networks currently hold 6.5 % of the retail market in the Republic; the area of the stores belonging to the network accounts for over 47 % of the total such area, and the turnover of goods generated per 1 sq. m is at times twice or even higher than the ratio of the stores that are not part of the network. The network stores offer an assortments of goods distinguished for its variety and volume (30,000-40,000 items) making the network stores one-stop shops in that respect largely advantageous as compared to other specialised and non-specialised grocery stores. The network-managed stores and trade centres are operating throughout the entire territory of Lithuania, only five municipalities are an exception for not having a single store belonging to the network, and five municipalities have one store of the kind each. The largest number of such stores operates in major cities and towns in Lithuania – Vilnius, Kaunas and KlaipÄ—da. The analysis also included the assessment of any differences between stores managed by the networks, also specialised, or stand-alone stores, as well as some other stores belonging to individual minor networks.

As an exercise aiming to assess on whether or not the major trading networks are abusing their advantageous position in respect of the supply of goods the Competition Council assessed 19 trading enterprises operating in a range of areas. The findings of this assessment have not revealed a single case of producers cooperating exclusively with a single large trading network – all producers maintain business relations with nearly all networks and other buyers; wholesalers, other retailers, public catering companies, hotels, also develop their export volumes specifically stimulated following the accession to the EU.

The data and findings of the investigation of the position of the major retail trading networks are published in the website of the Competition Council at:

Competition Council Spokesperson