In the centrally planned economy of the former Soviet Union, retail and wholesale trade were very much neglected. Since the beginning of transition the share of trade has increased considerably both in terms of its contribution to national product and employment. This paper analyses the structural development in the food retail sector of the Baltic states since the beginning of transition. It focuses mainly on the organisational changes, and change of the forms of enterprises as well as on changes in market structure in the Baltic food retail trade. The transformation of the economy has resulted in substantial changes in the Baltic food retail sector. At the beginning of reformation privatisation and establishment of numerous new forms has led to fragmentation in the food retail trade. Easy divisibility of trade enterprises included into privatisations as well as the lack of capital for new entrepreneurs are the major reason for the creation of mostly small (family) enterprises. However, from 1996 an increased tendency to concentration can be observed. Competition on the Baltic food market has intensified due to the modernisation of innovative domestic enterprises and appearance of western trading organisations. The dynamics of the competition becomes obvious by numerous market entrances (western trade concerns) and exits (of unprofitable domestic enterprises) as well as by an increased concentration of larger enterprises. This development allows to expect an efficiency increase in the Baltic food trade.

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Structural change in Baltic food trade
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Working or Discussion Paper
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IAMO Discussion Paper
No. 33

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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