As promised, here are a handful of pictures from the Polish provinces – taken as we (Planet Retail’s macrodata crew) spent half a day hopping across the border from the German Retail Congress in Berlin. Specifically, we visited Rzepin, a small town with less than 7,000 inhabitants.
What struck us most was the continued high level of fragmentation of the local retail scene – a couple of large modern stores (Biedronka, Polomarket) competing with anything between 15 and 20 tiny mom & pop stores, many of which are associated with buying groups such as Eurocash’s ABC and Zabka. Very few of them were trading from more than 100 square metres.
And with the apparently limited budgets of the local population, the entertainment infrastructure that people living in London, Berlin, New York and of course Warsaw etc are so used to – including restaurants and bars – was virtually non-existent. The same goes for street lights off the main road, which were just bright enough to make sure no-one would bump their heads against the 13th century church tower.
A picturesque place, all in all, and very provincial. Which is exactly what we had been looking for – kind of showing that while retailing in Central Europe’s large cities may be very modern, there’s clearly a long way to go in terms of market modernisation for the more off-motorway places.
As always, you can click on the pictures to see larger versions. And have a good week.