Moldova flag Moldova: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Moldova

Evolution of the Sector
Distribution and sales channels have developed significantly over recent years, though they are still not as sophisticated as in the rest of Europe.  With the opening of several modern shopping malls and large retail stores, especially in the capital city of Chisinau, sales practices have been improving.  Sales are mostly concentrated in two major cities of the country – the capital city of Chisinau, and Balti, the second largest city of the country.  Companies could also consider having sales outlets for their products in district centers.

As a relatively small market, without challenging terrain, the major problem in developing distribution channels is poor infrastructure.  Moldova is a landlocked country and shipping products by sea takes place via nearby Black Sea ports in Ukraine and Romania.  Overland transportation to and from the ports is usually done by trucks and involves crossing state borders and customs clearance, which add extra costs and time to the shipment of goods.  The recently completed Giurgiulesti International Port on the Danube River is strategically important and may help Moldova enjoy access to cheaper transportation by sea.  The port is accessible to both fluvial and maritime vessels.

Among the challenges faced by distributors is usually illegal trade and smuggling through the weakly controlled Moldovan-Ukrainian border in the east along the breakaway region of Transnistria.

Market share
Modern retail channels cohabit with local grocery stores, who remain very present in Moldova. Among the main brands, we can mention the following :
-    Green Hills Market : Green Hills Market is the biggest network of shopping centers of Moldova, including 6 shops in the capital and one in the south of the country— in Comrat city.
-    Metro Cash & Сarry- is the international market leader of the retail trade.
-    Supermarket – ul N°1: The shopping centers network of the capital, that proposes to the consumer imported and domestic productions.
Retail Sector Organisations
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova
Probiz Retailer Association in Moldova

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Latest Update: November 2022

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