Major expansion opportunities have opened up for UK and
Western European retailers as the credit crunch takes
hold in Central and Eastern Europe. A report published
this week by retail analyst Verdict found that the
combined effects of the economic downturn and rapid
inflation were likely to drive some players in the CEE
region to the brink.
?As a consequence of the global crisis, we predict
cashflow management problems for many smaller scale
players and these could present great takeover
opportunities for the multinational heavyweights,
provided they can raise the capital to fund an
acquisition or merger against the backdrop of the credit
crunch,? said the reports author Daniel Lucht, senior
analyst at Verdict.
Tesco, which already operates in the Czech Republic,
Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, declined to comment on its
plans in the region.
In 2007, the CEE retail market was
worth ?179bn (?145bn) ? half the size of Germany ?and it
grew 56.4% between 2002 and 2007. The better-performing
CEE retailers would also expand into new markets and
further into old EU markets, predicted the research.