ECONOMY: Growth in Cyprus retail sector attracts investors

A 5% increase in turnover of retail trade last year has encouraged local and foreign businesses to invest in the Cyprus sector.

Local and foreign investors are strengthening their presence in Cyprus as they expect further growth as they see the sector growing for a fifth consecutive year.

According to Cyprus Statistical Service data, the local retail trade sector has grown by 5.4% compared to 2017, again surpassing the economy’s growth rate which stands close to 4%. In 2017 volume growth in retail sales reached 6.4% compared to the previous year.

Electrical goods and furniture items recorded the largest increase (12.4%) in 2018, while there was an increase of 8.6% in computer equipment, books and related items.

Marios Antoniou, the General Secretary of the Cyprus Association of Retail Trade Enterprises, in comments to Stockwatch said “2018 was an excellent year in all respects, while January, traditionally not one of the best months, also saw increased sales.”

“All evidence suggest that we are in for another good year. Competition in 2019 will grow due to new supermarkets and shopping centers, while several foreign brands are planning to expand their activities to Cyprus,” said Antoniou.

Antoniou gave as an examples IKEA’s expansion to Limassol, and the Maltese company Homemate which launched its Cyprus operations in 2018. He added that multinationals are investing millions of euros in the local retail sector.

He noted that 2019 is expected to see the opening of two new Alpha Mega supermarkets in Limassol and Paphos, Papantoniou supermarkets opening a store in Nicosia, while Bank of Cyprus has signed a new agreement to set up a new ‘Metro’ supermarket in Limassol.

Meanwhile, Cyprus’ malls are feeling confident over the prospects of the country’s retail sector.

Nicosia Mall chairman Marios Kalochoritis said prospects for the Cypriot economy are positive for 2019, which will certainly have a positive impact on the retail sector.

Kypros Hatzistyllis, manager of The Mall of Cyprus says the market is estimated to continue steadily on an upward trend in 2019.

My Mall Limassol’s managing director Andreas Hadjimitsis says that the Limassol shopping centre saw its turnover increase by 6% in 2018, while visitors increased by 5%, reaching 5 million.

Source: The Financial Mirror