Albania flag Albania: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Albania

Evolution of the Sector
Small private shops, many of which offer Italian and Greek goods, dominate the retail sector, although retail chains, including supermarket chains Spar and Conad, have proliferated in recent years.  As well, Inditex, which owns brands including Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, and Stradivarius, entered the market in 2014.  Other large retailers include Megatek (DIY), GoTech, Globe, and Neptune (electronics and appliances).  The first shopping mall (QTU) opened in 2005, followed by City Park shopping mall in 2009. Tirana East Gate (which houses Spar and Inditex) opened in 2011, followed by Ring Shopping Mall, in 2015. Toptani Shopping Mall opened recently in central Tirana. Shopping malls have opened in other major urban areas in Albania. Capital goods and specialized equipment are normally sold directly to manufacturers and businesses.  When selling capital goods or equipment to businesses, an agent is essential.  Consumer-oriented trade shows are also an important part of the retail scene in Albania.
Market share
Foreign companies wishing to enter the Albanian market and distribute goods can find a considerable number of merchants, agents, intermediaries, wholesalers and retailers in Albania. The country has a multitude of distribution channels and most major players have entered the Albanian market in recent years. The majority of the trade goes through the port of Durres, which handles more than 90% of the maritime trade. Albania also has two smaller ports: Vlore in the south and Shengjin in the north. Land-based trade can be cleared at border crossing points with Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo or Montenegro.

Smaller private shops, many of which offer Italian and Greek products, dominate the retail sector, although retail chains, including the Big Market, Spar and Conad supermarket chains, have proliferated in recent years. On the other hand, Inditex, which owns brands like Zara, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Stradivarius, entered the Albanian market in 2014. Other major retailers include Megatek (DIY), GoTech, Globe and Neptune (electronics and appliances). The first shopping centre (QTU) opened in 2005, followed by the City Park shopping centre in 2009. Tirana East Gate (home to Spar and Inditex) opened in 2011, followed by Ring Shopping Mall in 2015. Toptani Shopping Mall opened in the centre of Tirana. Other shopping centres have opened in important urban areas in Albania outside of Tirana, including Durres, Fier and Elbasan.
Retail Sector Organisations
Albania International Chamber of Commerce
Ministry of Economy Albania

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Latest Update: July 2022

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