Six expats, four Romanians run a 11 bln eur market in Romania

Modern retail accounts these days for about 60% of the total retail sector. Ten strong executives are at the helm of a business that represents an almost 11 bln eur market.

Ten Romanian and foreign executives run the local modern grocery retailers, which make an about 50 billion lei (almost EUR11 billion) market and have more than 75,000 employees.

The businesses they run account for more than half of the food Romanian consumers buy, so these executives are among the most important in Romania’s economy.

Each of the six expats and the four Romanians run operations with billions of lei in sales and thousands of employees. They run Kaufland Carrefour, Lidl, Auchan, Metro Cash & Carry, Mega Image, Profi, Penny Market, Selgros and Cora. The supermarket, hypermarket, discount, convenience and cash & carry store chains account for 60% of the grocery retail in Romania.

This means more than half of the money Romanian consumers spend on daily or weekly shopping goes to these 2,000 modern stores.

The companies these executives run are among the biggest local employers, each of them employing thousands of people. In all, more than 75,000 people work in modern retail, according to publicly available 2016 data.

The most powerful executive in modern retail is German Marco Hoessl, who has been running Kaufland’s operations for more than two years. He runs a 9.7 billion lei (over EUR2 billion) business with more than 14,000 employees, according to Finance Ministry data. He is one of the six foreign executives in Romania’s modern retail sector, while the most powerful Romanian executive is Ionut Ardeleanu, 35, who runs Auchan Romania. The longest-standing executive in the industry is another Romanian, Alexandru Vlad, who was put in charge of Selgros Cash & Carry the year the network arrived in Romania, 2001.