Monday, June 27, 2016

Retail In Malta

Not so long ago I spent some vacation on the Island of Malta. Even though it was for leisure purpose, and actually it remained mostly about that, as I have not spent much time visiting stores, I still was able to find out a bit more about the retail landscape.

About Malta
What is interesting about Malta is first its geography. It is at the south of Italy. Therefore, you will find a lot of Italian products and brands.
Moreover, it is an island. There is hence different factors that will shape the retail landscape.

  1. First in terms of products: You will find a lot of fish products.
  2. Secondly, the cost of retailing. Indeed, you need to import a lot of products. Two consequences. A fairly big part of the products are made in Malta, but some international products, especially cosmetics, were pretty expensive.
  3. There is no potable water on the island. And it is very hot. Therefore, the water category is very large in the island, with large formats.

The retailers
A lot of small convenience stores can be find, or small hypermarkets. The roads are small, and the island is small. Therefore, no need to have a big hypermarket. I have found none there.

But another format of retail is thriving there: Lidl. Indeed, Lidl can have a very efficient supply chain, multiplying the stores in order to cover the whole Island. Good strategy.

I haven't visited one (once again, not a long time, and really focusing on the tourism part of the vacations), but Tower Supermarket is really a great store. A big focus on fresh products, with specific concepts, well executed, a large health and beauty section.

A very modern store, that could work in most of European countries. It is always funny to see how local retailer can sometimes be so good.