Grocery retailing in Poland : structural changes and foreign direct investment
It has been shown that structural change in grocery retailing has been particularly rapid given the transformation from a socialist to a market economy. In the first half of the 1990s, the number of stores increased sharply due to deregulation. In particular, the number of very small stores grew and then declined again, but nevertheless remained ... at a much higher level than under socialism. A parallel boom occurred in the case of large retail outlets, in particular hypermarkets and supermarkets. This positive development raised the overall sales area in Poland s retailing sector and was driven by high FDI from major European food-retailing chains. Thus, the Polish food-retailing system is characterised by a dual structure of small "other shops" and the growing proportion of large store types in the style of Western Europe. This development has been accompanied by increasing concentration ratios of returns per unit of sales area. Some findings on FDI in Poland´s retailing sector are striking. FDI in food retailing as a proportion of FDI in total retailing is very high, and major investors like Metro and Tesco ranked among the top ten foreign investors in Poland. As in the case of the food trade, FDI in food retailing is almost exclusively intra-EU. A more detailed analysis of the determinants of foreign direct investment in eight European countries - including Poland - yields several interesting results. The FDI stock in the retailing sector can be explained very well across countries and over time. As a percentage of GDP, FDI stocks are determined by the size of the retailing sector measured as a percentage of GDP, by a structural indicator of the retailing sector expressing the ratio between non-specialised and specialised stores, and by structural differences across countries. In all model specifications, the structural indicator is significantly different from zero and has a positive sign, indicating that countries with a more modern retailing structure attract more FDI than countries with a more traditional structure. Ceteris paribus, Poland attracted more FDI - normalised with the GDP - than all other countries except Slovakia. On the other hand, the more traditional retailing structure in Poland hampered inward FDI compared with some other European Countries like Germany or France and - among the CEECs - Hungary and Slovakia.