Daniel Kretinsky


Domestic Capital Flowing Into Retail

Daniel Kretinsky

Prague, Sept 2 (CTK) – Czech capital is slowly beginning to gain its place in domestic retail trade which is controlled mainly by German chains, apart from several acquisitions, the number of domestic retailers grows fast and Czech owners dominate in particular online trading.


Among the companies which have ended up in Czech hands in the last few years is Mall Group, owned by PPF group, Daniel Kretinsky with Patrik Tkac and Rockaway investment group. The group of e-shops expects turnover around Kc18bn for last year.


Kretinsky’s and Tkac’s EP Global Commerce (EPGC) company has said it is entering the German owner of Makro wholesale chain, where it will acquire 7.3 percent of ordinary shares and an option for another 15.2 percent. Besides that, it is in talks with Ceconomy shareholder on sale of another 10 percent.


HP Tronic of Zlin, which took control of Datart stores last year, reached a Kc15bn turnover in the year.


“In my opinion, time has come after 25 years for Czech companies to enter large retail chains. I think that Czechs have a sufficient capital now,” said entrepreneur Tomas Cupr who in the past founded Slevomat daily deals site and now co-owns Rohlik.cz e-shop. The e-shop expects Kc2.5bn sales this year and wants to double them next year. Cupr promises that Rohlik.cz will be a rival to large retail chains soon.


Many Czech retailers grow fast even without acquisitions and are gaining a market share. Alza.cz, the biggest Czech e-shop, raised sales by 20 percent in the first half of this year. The market in technical consumer goods added only 6.8 percent, according to data of GfK company.


“The second half of the year will be even more interesting for e-commerce,” said Alza.cz business development director Jaromir Ranek. If Alza keeps the growth pace from the first half of this year, its sales will top Kc25bn this year and the Czech e-shop will make it among the top ten biggest retailers in the Czech Republic.


The domestic Internet trade is moving significantly to Czech hands and the trend is likely to continue. There are several favourable factors.


“Firstly, at the time of economic boom, most large players have enough money which they want to invest reasonably. It still stands that many Internet projects outgrow their original owners or founders so a merger with larger and more experienced partners makes sense, moreover, it has a strategic importance for their further development,” said Shoptet company head Miroslav Udan.


German chains still dominate in particular the market in fast moving goods. In the 30 largest chains with fast moving goods predominating, which generated Kc392bn sales in total in 2016, German owners held 39.8 percent. Domestic firms owned 23.1 percent and Dutch owners 18.1 percent, according to an earlier analysis of Bisnode company.


The top five retailers in the Czech Republic in terms of sales are Kaufland, Ahold, Tesco, Lidl and Penny. However, ownership changes in the biggest food chains cannot be expected in the Czech Republic, said Radek Drab, an expert for the area of consumer goods and retail at PwC Strategy.


Among the biggest retailers with Czech capital is Geco, which runs, among other things, a chain of stores with tobacco products, with a Kc34.3bn turnover.


Retail companies with Czech owners are mostly in the second half of the TOP 30 chart. Among them are JIP vychodoceska, JAS CR, Maloobchodni sit Hruska, Peal, Solvent CR (Teta drogerie), Rosa market (Potraviny ENAPO), COOP druzstvo Havlickuv Brod, Jednota Ceske Budejovice, Flosman and Druzstvo CBA.