Croatia: Fashion Retail in the Fast Lane

Trends and fashion are currently gaining much importance in Croatia, and the fashion retail sector is enjoying increasing popularity and growing turnover! Following several years of stagnation, turnover has been growing by more than 6% annually over the past two years. But who is getting the biggest piece of this growing pie, and what is the situation when it comes to sites and locations?
Hennes & Mauritz is currently leading the fashion retail sector with a market share of 11.3%. Positions 2 and 3 also remain unchanged, taken by C&A and Zara with market shares of 7.9% and 7.3%, respectively. They are followed by New Yorker and KiK. However, when it comes to expansion, the players on the Croatian fashion market are currently somewhat reserved, even though Croatia’s outlet density is still rather low by international standards. Among the companies with the most outlets, only KiK appears to be highly motivated, opening 9 additional outlets in 2014. This expansion activity yielded results: considerable increases both in turnover and in sales area productivity point to a successful market cultivation strategy.
What conclusions may be drawn with respect to future developments? Turnover development was very positive between 2012 and 2015, but the total number of apparel stores has stayed nearly the same, so square meter turnover has necessarily increased – which retailers will certainly appreciate following the previous lean years. General economic indicators in Croatia suggest that the coming years will see further stable development for the country’s fashion retail sector. This, in turn, will drive further expansion activities.