Norway has one the world’s highest concentration in grocery retailing. Since the 90´s there have been 4 chains dividing close to 100% of the market between themselves: NorgesGruppen (privately owned group with 4 banners, currently 42.3% market share), Coop (owned by 1.5m members, 5 banners of significance, 29.4% market share), ICA (Swedish, 4 banners of significance; threw in the towel and withdraw from Norway 2014) and Reitan Group (privately owned; banner: Rema 1000, market share 24.4%). The competition authorities approved a takeover of ICA by Coop (with a few restrictions). Hence Coop started converting (most of) the ICA stores to their own banners 2015.

Soft discounters constitute 65% of grocery retailing in Norway 2016, growing their share of market steadily since the very beginning in the 80´s. A few milestones on their way to total dominance:

2005:     46,9%    (Supermarkets: 29,2%)

2009:     50,9%    (Supermarkets: 26,8%)

2014:     61,8%    (Supermarkets: 23,7%)

2016:     65,1%    (Supermarkets: 22,2%).

Today the market is dominated by 3 soft discount banners: Rema 1000 (24.4% market share, currently flattening out, for the first time in history), Kiwi (NorgesGruppen; 19.9%, growing) and Extra (Coop; 11.5%, growing). All numbers according to Nielsen, the sole supplier of currency for market development.

So where are we heading?

We are in top 5 globally on BNP per capita (in some statistics no. 1 or 2, fighting against Qatar for the top position). We still have the highest number of grocery stores (100 sqm+) in Europe, proportionally to population. We spend only 10-11% of our disposable income on groceries. Countless surveys throughout the years suggest that we emphasize high quality perishables, friendly service and good advice. We are on top in Europe purchasing cookbooks. We want inspiration, broader and deeper assortments.

That’s what we say. And what do we do?

We purchase our groceries in discount stores. With limited assortment compared to well stocked supermarkets. Their key positioning statement is obviously “Low Price”.

If this development continues, and there is no sign of a contrary case, discounters will reach 80% market share within the next 5-6 years.

Anyone want to help?


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