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How did number of stores and markets change during Ukraine's independence

Author : Olexiy Doroshenko

The greatest number of objects of retail trade legal entities were in 1990 - 145,700; 120,600 of which were shops
20:36, 15 November 2018

Open source

The dynamics of retail development always match the trends of society. When Ukrainians began to change to their cars and spend money on something other than food, shopping malls began mushrooming in the country. Minimarkets have lost their relevance, and hypermarkets have gained the popularity. When Ukrainians began to tighten their belts, spending most of their money on food and the most necessary goods, the trade of everything except food industry decreased. However, food retail has begun to expand at the expense of minimarkets again.

Statistics of the number of outlets can tell us about the country’s life. We should understand that the number of stores, outdoor concession stands, and markets cannot fully fulfill all the needs of the customer, and one supermarket might appear, which would completely replace them. This is a global trend that is sweeping through Ukraine.

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The greatest number of objects of retail trade legal entities were in 1990 - 145,700; 120,600 of which were shops. Each year, their number fell. The exception was 1993 when trade added 3.2 thousand points.

The largest shortfalls took place in the years following the financial crises. So, in 1998, there was a 14% decline, and then it slowed down. The next significant drop occurred in 2009 (but only by 6%). The number of shops was the same for almost 3 years. This means that the crisis of 2008 was not so devastating for our country as the world financial crisis of 1998.

In 2014, Ukrainian trade suffered the most in the years of state independent. 21% of legal entities engaged in trade closed straight away. Thus, the number of stores decreased by 18%. In 2017, the fall in the retail network reached 25%. And this is despite the fact that the expansion in individual grocery and non-grocery retail chains took place. Therefore, they could not fully replace the ones which disappeared. Mostly, the development of organized trade took place through the competitors’ acquisition of the lease of their existing premises.

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The largest number of markets was observed in 2003 – 2891, which was 90% more than in 1990. No statistics of markets have been kept since 2016, so an indicator of what is happening today is the research companies that constantly monitor the number of outlets in our country.

The fall in the number of outlets also indicates a drop in employment, since trade is number one industry in terms of the number of employees. Small shops are like towns, where people earn themselves as self-employed persons, hiring more sale assistants and administrative staff. The decline in employment in the trade leads to labor migration.

Trade is a kind of a mirror of the country’s life. Following the example of all economically developed countries, Ukraine should create its own Ministry of Commerce. Efforts for export and growth of domestic consumption has brought its success in the USA, Europe, and Japan. Only after the creation of the EU, European countries have abandoned their own government trade structures in order to avoid institutional duplicity. Trade bloc has always been the least favorite sphere of Ukraine’s Ministry of Economic Development. Starting from August 2018, the trade direction has remained without a head after the resignation of Natalia Mykolska; now it is headed by Maksym Nefiodov. And is actually the fifth wheel in the car. And this is despite the fact that Ukraine needs economic growth, which can occur, either due to the revival of domestic trade, or foreign.

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