Market is saturated, but retailers keep expanding in Estonia

Estonia has already one of the highest retail space per capita figure in Europe, but retailers continue to open more stores, writes Äripäev.

According to statistics, Estonia has 1.3 square metres of retail trade space per resident which is roughly similar to Germany’s level of 1.4 sqm.

In revenue share, market leader in grocery chains is ETK with 24.7%, followed by Rimi (21.1%), Maxima (19.8%), Selver (19.4%), Prisma (10.4%) and Grossi Toidukaubad (4.2%).

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Tourism sector grew twice as fast as economy in 2012

The Estonian tourism sector expanded in 2012 for the third consecutive year at double the rate of the economy in general, with record export growth and an increase in jobs.

Exports of Estonian tourist services totalled 1.24 billion euros last year, increasing 2.7 percent year-on-year and accounting for 29 percent of the export of services and 7.4 percent of total exports of goods and services, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said.

Visitors from other countries made an estimated 5.3 million trips to Estonia during the year, slightly more than a year earlier. Tourism was supported by an improvement in air connections. The Tallinn airport served 2.2 million passengers, 15 percent more than the year before. However, owing to cutbacks at the national carrier Estonian Air, passenger flows declined towards the end of the year and the impact will be felt also in 2013.

Accommodated tourists numbered 2.8 million, which is 4.2 percent more than in 2011. Domestic tourists made up more than one third of the total. Domestic demand grew after a hiatus of several years. Overnight stays of Russian tourists increased by a quarter.

The number of beds in accommodation establishments grew by almost 3 percent from the previous year. The average bed occupancy rate rose to 37 percent.

According to enterprise statistics, the number of catering sector employees increased more than 5 percent and the staff of travel agencies and tour operators, by more than a tenth. Average wages grew 8 percent but wage growth slowed down towards the end of the year. The value added of accommodation and catering increased 7 percent at constant prices. The cost of a guest night averaged 31 euros, almost 9 percent more than the year before.

Source: Estonian Review / BNS