The general manager of the Union of Supermarkets of Greece (ESE), Apostolos Petalas, spoke on the show “Face to Face” about the price increases on the shelves of Super Market.
Mr. Petalas argued that there is a drop in the profits of supermarket chains for the year 2022, while for 2023 he noted that there are no figures.
I listened to the consumers who came on the show and I want to tell you that this is not a surprise to the Supermarket Association and to the 11 major chains that employ 11,000 workers, they experience this every day and they are and they are expressing themselves and trying to serve them.
The managers of the chains also try to ensure the adequacy of the products. Don’t assume it’s just the price. In many things and due to climate change there are also issues of adequacy and alternative and available solutions must be foundat least to have a product available and of course to find alternative supply solutions with lower prices.
The big chains and their managements are also experiencing it because, as we heard and this is natural, sales volumes are falling, people are buying fewer products and the costs, at the same time, of operating the stores (…)”.
Regarding the fact that the volume of sales is falling, while the profits of the companies are rising, Mr. Apostolos Petalas replied: “The results of the chains are very problematic. In 2022 when the balance sheets of all the big chains have been published, the results in the sector are 40% smaller and have reached a very small percentage, about 1.5% of the turnover.
Of course we see it all over the world that the profitability of the chains is falling for the same reasons. It’s just that in Greece it’s always been lower and now it’s even lower.”
“It’s not like that“, he said to a related question about the increase in turnover at SM’s big chains and continued, saying: “I can send you the details. Many major chains have gone into the red because this phenomenon has reached an extreme level.
Turnovers are increasing inflationarybecause one a lot of Super Market purchases have a significant amount of inflation, the consumer can’t afford it, so the Super Market is forced to subsidize it.
Don’t forget that the chains are at the point where the international chain meets society.”
As for whether those who “win” are the “big” suppliers and not the Super Markets, Petalas replied: “Look, I can’t say that because the Super Markets are supplied by approximately 5,500 thousand suppliers either in Greece or abroad. To generalize and say that everyone wins and only society loses would be an exaggeration».
“What I know, is that the annual research conducted by IELKA on a portfolio of several categories… 44 categories that have all the basic products that are needed mainly for food, but also for personal care in relation to six major countries and the “Basket” respectively compared to Spain, France, Italy and the UK, it is significantly smaller, although it is difficult to compare one country to another, especially when you take individual products or individual codes and try to draw conclusions.”
Regarding who is ultimately profiting off the backs of consumers, Mr. Petalas said: “I wish I could answer that, as it is a global phenomenon».