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From Marinopoulos, AB and Sklavenitis to tomorrow’s e-grocers

By George Lampiris

In 2003 there were 10 large supermarket chains in Greece with a turnover of 269 million euros the smallest of them and up to 1.45 billion euros the strongest. Today, after 18 years of these chains, 5 are now a thing of the past. At the same time, the balances and data in the organized retail market have been completely overturned.

From the chains that existed in the market in 2003, outside of it are now Marinopoulos, Veropoulos, Atlantic, Makro and Dia. The Cretan, Market In, Bazaar and Chalkiadakis have taken their place. It should be noted that despite the fact that both in 2003 and 2020 in Greece Lidl Hellas was active and continues to be active, which is estimated to be the third largest supermarket chain in terms of size, nevertheless the following data does not mention why Its corporate form is that of a general partnership, therefore it is not required by law to publish financial statements.

The big ones that got bigger

Of course, what one can easily see by comparing the images of 2003 and 2020 is that the sizes have changed and the top ten are now much more powerful than then, since in the meantime there have been many absorptions – acquisitions with the largest of them being is the acquisition of Marinopoulos by Sklavenitis.

The 10 largest chains in Greece in 2003 based on turnover (in million euros)

Carrefour Marinopoulos


AB Vassilopoulos












Μetro – My Market






The 10 largest chains in Greece in 2020 based on turnover (in million euros)



AB Vassilopoulos


Metro – My Market








Market In


Market In






In a communication that Capital.gr had with the president of the Consumer Goods Retail Research Institute, Costa Macheira, who has served in important supermarket chains as a high-ranking executive, we tried to make a record of yesterday, today and today. sense of what this market will be like in the coming years.

Significant investments in logistics

According to Mr. Macheiras, now the companies have invested significant amounts in logistics, while in the past the supermarkets worked mainly with foreign companies – partners (3PL), and at the same time characterizes the logistics of that period as primordial.

Regarding the displacement of large chains, he points out that in the early 2000s several had a local character and today maintain a nationwide expansion. It is characteristic that until some time the founder of Sklavenitis, Spyros Sklavenitis, did not exceed the western suburbs to the north and respectively AB Vassilopoulos did not move to the west in order not to disturb the balances at the level of locality maintained by each chain. “At the same time, however, many companies that grew up did not have the infrastructure to support, neither in terms of staff and training, nor in the field of control, while they did not have an expansion strategy. “.

The fall of Veropoulos

Referring to the Veropoulos chain, he points out that the businessman, Nikos Veropoulos, was facing several difficulties on a personal and professional level. “In fact, his stores had begun to lose momentum both in terms of product mix and in terms of store area. In addition, he did not invest in existing or new stores as he had already seen that there was a prospect in Northern Macedonia and Serbia, where already “Among other things, he trusted executives, who did not perform as expected. The company became unprofitable and sold first to Sklavenitis and then to My Market, while there were discussions then about a sale to AB Vassilopoulos.”

The Atlantic

Analyzing the reasons for the changes, he also refers to the Atlantic, whose head, Manolis Apostolou, according to Mr. Macheiras, did not follow a strategy of creating a homogeneous network of stores in each area that expanded, instead operating with sporadic store openings. Mr. Macheiras contributed to the collapse of the company at the same time as the businessman did not assess in time the financial difficulties that Atlantic was facing.

Regarding Dia, he explains that “the decision of the Spanish group was to withdraw the activity of the group from Greece, since its owners did not want a discount form of the group in Greece. At the same time, the Marinopoulos family failed to work harmoniously with Dia “.

Makro and the interest of AB

In the case of Makro, Mr. Macheiras points out that the company maintained an uncompromising character towards the traders “and failed to maneuver effectively like the Metro of the Panteliadis group and AB Vassilopoulos’ ENA in the Cash & Carry sector. In fact, there was a takeover proposal. from AB Vassilopoulos, an agreement that did not succeed, to be sold later enough cheaply to Sklavenitis “.

“Sklavenitis has no concept in his stores”

For Carrefour – Marinopoulos, the head of IELKA, is clear: “it should have been closed six years earlier, but it remained in operation for political reasons. In my opinion, it was given to the wrong person because it should have been sold in a foreign chain, so that Sklavenitis, who has no competitive advantage as he does not have a concept to present, on the contrary, a foreign chain would bring a new concept to Greece, which would make the competition better. , if someone comes to e-commerce tomorrow with the right warehouse infrastructure and says that he sells food 10% cheaper than the rest of the competition, the first to face a problem will be Sklavenitis, because he will spoil the image of the prices he has, that that is, it is the cheapest on the market. ”

And other chain absorptions in the near future

For the coming years, Mr. Macheiras estimates that other chains will be absorbed by some others by 2025, while other retailers will be added that are not currently in the spotlight. “Essentially from today ‘s grocery, we’re going to go for the e-grocery model. So there may be a company that we can not imagine right now. That does not mean we will have fewer physical stores, but we will have different types of stores. “Based on a study we had prepared, we need 7,000 distribution points (picking points) to satisfy the approximately 11,000,000 people who are the population of Greece. Of these 4,500 points would be in Athens”.

In any case, Mr. Macheiras points out that we will not see padlocks in chains, as none closes, but is absorbed. “In each case, they have seized it, despite obstacles we can scarcely imagine.”


Source From: Capital

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