Georgia flag Georgia: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Georgia

Evolution of the Sector
According to Colliers International 2017 Report, the retail trade (excluding motor vehicles and motorcycles) is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in Georgia. In 2016, retail trade turnover volume amounted to GEL 10.6 billion (at current prices). When compared to the same timeframe in 2015, this reflects an 8% increase. A massive growth was recorded in 2013, when the figure increased by 20%. The number of employed persons also grows steadily in the sector. In 2016, this figure amounted to 95K, which reflected an 8% growth compared to the previous year. With an 81% share, Tbilisi dominates Georgia’s trade economy. The average annual growth rate of the trade sector in Tbilisi was 12% during the last three years. Adjara and Imereti are other significant trade regions with 6% and 3% shares, respectively. In Adjara and Imereti regions, the average annual growth during the last three-year period amounted to 18% and 17%, accordingly.

Although some importers still handle their own distribution, several distribution companies have established networks for food, cosmetics, and consumer goods. A significant part of retail stores are sole proprietorships with one outlet, especially in the regions outside Tbilisi, but there are a growing number of market chains such as Foodmart (SPAR’s Georgian partner), Goodwill, Loli, 2Steps, Fresco, Smart, and Nikora.  Carrefour, which currently operates 8 stores in the capital, is planning to open new stores across the country. Retail chain shops sell Western brands of cosmetics, household goods, clothing, and electronics.
Market share
Georgia with 4,8 million population and 8,4 billion dollars of total retail sales are one of the country in central Asia that had an increasment in retail market in these years. Georgia has a solid per capita spending growth over the past five years, and an underpenetrated retail market.

Georgia remains attractive for retailers across all categories. Despite growth and expansion in food retail, modern formats still represent only 30% of the market, with most key players considering traditional market their strongest competitors. Carrefour and local Goodwill remain the only hypermarket players, while the minimarket playing field is a bit more competitive. SPAR (with 42 stores as of today) entered the Georgia market in the summer of 2014 by acquiring Populi, the third-largest retail chain, with plans to rebrand and expand its network from 51 to 80 stores by 2018. Local food retailer Nikora reinforced its leading position by acquiring a small regional chain of 12 supermarkets in December 2014.
Retail Sector Organisations
Georgia Retail Association
Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

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Latest Update: July 2022

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