AT Kearney: Romania, 23rd most attractive country for retail

Romania's retail segment scored 23rd out of 185 countries by the level of interest it arouses in foreign investors, down one position versus last year, as an impressive number of stores were closed, shows a study by the global consulting firm AT Kearney, cited by NewsIn.

Michael Weiss, company vice president, explained that even if the Romanian retail segment was struck by the crisis, there is hope of a recoup. He mentioned that all through last year several stores were shut down both in large shopping centers and on the main avenues in Bucharest and added that the crisis will add pressure on the prices of premium commercial spaces.

AT Kearney officials believe that in developing countries the crisis will affect mainly the home appliances and house decorations sales.

According to the study, the Romanian retail sector is weaker than that from other East European countries, despite the aggressive development of hypermarkets during the last three years.

The AT Kearney classification designates India, Russia and China as the most attractive countries for retail business. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia complete the top. The study analyzed the countries' political and economic development, the retail market saturation level and the distance between the Gross Domestic Product and the retail expansion.

The national statistics body today (INS) announced on June 9 that Romania's retail lost 9.7 percent in April versus the same month in 2008, as fuel and non-food products sales headed downwards by 18.5 percent and 7.8 percent respectively. The month-on-month rapport indicates a 0.9 percent decline.

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