Romania Survey: Retail Sales Up 7.5% in 2021

Retail sales grew by 7.5% in Romania in 2021, above the European average of 3.3%, but below the 10.6% increase in Eastern Europe, in line with data from Retail Audit NielsenIQ. Howevber, compared to the average in Eastern Europe, whose evolution also reflects the rampant inflation in countries such as Turkey, Ukraine and Belarus, growth in Romania was generated mostly by the volumes consumed (+6%).

Sales saw growth for all macro-categories of products, with a maximum advance for non-alcoholic (+10.2%) and alcoholic (+8%) drinks, followed by foods (+7.4%) and non-food products (+4.1%).

The Nielsen survey also shows that sales growth was due mostly to increases in the quantities purchased (+6% by volume), while the impact of inflation is felt only marginally (+1.5%) at the aggregate level of prices in 2021.

Retailers’ own brands, which are usually cheaper, keep graining ground to the detriment of manufacturer brands (+1% market share), accounting for 15.1%, by value, of the total sales of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in Romania.

Private brands' advance is also due to the development of modern retail channels regarding both the number of stores (+8.5%) and sales via these channels. Apart from filling stations, whose accelerated growth reflects the revival after travel bans imposed in 2020, the highest sales growth against the previous year was recorded by the Discount segment (+18.7%).      

The online commerce for FMCG kept growing at a fast pace in 2021 and most new e-shoppers are part of the category of low-income people (45%).