Taiwan, China flag Taiwan, China: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Taiwan, China

Evolution of the Sector
According to the latest figures from USDA, Taiwan’s total retail outlets generated USD 32.4 billion worth of sales in 2021, growing by 2.2% compared to 2020. Supermarket sales experienced the strongest annual growth at 7.7%, followed by hypermarket sales growth of 6.5%. Convenience store sales were stagnant due the decrease in the number of commuters during the Covid-19 pandemic. Other retail outlets, including mom-and-pop shops and wet markets, saw an decrease of 10%, to USD 3.6 billion.

International retailers dominate the market, with few domestic players in direct competition. International retail stores have taken advantage of Taiwan's geographical location, high population density, and high disposable incomes. In recent years, the traditional mom-and-pop shops and wet markets have suffered and lost market to hypermarkets, high-end supermarkets and convenience stores. This was also due to the changes in the population structure, as the drop in birth rates led to an increasing number of small families, with people shifting towards supermarkets to buy smaller portions rather than making big groceries in wet markets. However, continued fierce competition from hypermarkets and convenience stores has made it difficult for small supermarkets to survive, whereas sales have been driven by the increase in the number of stores and development of new store formats, such as more neighborhood-focused stores. With one store per every 2,300 people, Taiwan has the highest convenience store density in the world. Convenience store chains are now providing oven-prepared, microwavable meals, bakery products, and other processed food products via these retail channels.

7-11, FamilyMart, Costco, PXMart and Carrefour dominate the market, which is relatively fragmented. However, the scale of traditional players has been too small to compete with modern chains. Meanwhile, existing premium supermarkets have maintained steady growth, and new outlets have continued to open, incorporated within different concepts to attract consumers’ attention.

Market share
International retailers dominate the market, with few domestic players in direct competition.
The Taiwanese food retail market is so divided:
•    Convenience stores (USD 12.2 billion sales in 2021)
•    Hypermarkets (USD 8.2 billion sales in 2021)
•    Supermarkets (USD 8.4 billion sales in 2021)
•    Others (USD 3.6 billion sales in 2021).
In the convenience store section, the main players are 7-Eleven (6,432 outlets), Family Mart (4,000 outlets), Hi-Life (1,538 outlets), and OK Mart (830 outlets).
International players such as Costco (14 outlets) and Carrefour (66 outlets) dominate the hypermarket sector with more than 50% market share. The third player, A Mart, has 15 outlets.
Major supermarkets include: PX Mart (1,133 outlets), Simple Mart (800 outlets), Taiwan Fresh Supermarket (50 outlets) and Mia C’bon (25 outlets).
Retail Sector Organisations
Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs

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Latest Update: June 2024