GRDI: Georgia Number One in Region

The 2015 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) recognised Georgia as number one in the region and sixth out of 30 developing countries for retail investment.

GRDI said Georgia’s "unsaturated retail environment” was an extremely attractive opportunity for international investors. Additionally, the report noted that Georgia had a "stable GDP, solid per capita spending growth over the past five years, and an underpenetrated retail market”.

"Carrefour and the local Goodwill (which sold a 60 percent stake to Italy's Milan Investment) remain the only hypermarket players, while the minimarket playing field is a bit more competitive.”

"SPAR entered the Georgian market in the summer of 2014 by acquiring Populi, the third largest retail chain, with plans to rebrand and expand its network from 51 to 80 stores by 2018. Local food retailer Nikora reinforced its leading position by acquiring a small regional chain of 12 supermarkets in December 2014,” read the report.

GRDI noted that a growing tourism sector had boosted the fast food market in Georgia. McDonald's, Subway, and Wendy's are now among the international brands that have expanded in the capital Tbilisi, where 80 percent of the country's modern retail space is located. Georgia's burgeoning apparel sector was represented by more than 40 international brands, including Marks & Spencer, Gap, Banana Republic, ALDO, and the Inditex Group's brands, said GRDI.

But despite many positive developments in recent years, the availability of modern retail space still poses a challenge, with many spaces outdated and inappropriate for more premium retail, they concluded.

04 June 2015 13:51