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16 February 2024, 12:45

Convenience stores described as niche segment for Belarusian Belkoopsoyuz

MINSK, 16 February (BelTA) - Convenience stores are a niche segment for consumer cooperatives. No hypermarket cane replace them, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the general meeting of the Belarusian national union of consumer societies Belkoopsoyuz in Minsk on 16 February, BelTA has learned.

"Alas, there is a steady downward trend in the share of consumer cooperatives in the retail turnover in the country. In 2010 your share stood at more than 12% of the total. Meanwhile it was about 4% in 2020 and 3% in 2023. Given that you have a solid infrastructure, you are underperforming in some regional centers and large communities. In terms of rural communities you continue to suffer losses," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Consumer cooperative societies have their own niche. It is corner stores. No hypermarket will replace them, the president noted. 

"It is clear that the competition is fierce. But in the fight for the buyer, no one holds you back. Last time, we met we agreed to optimize the very process of organizing trade - from the purchase of goods, input prices, assortment, delivery to retail to its layout, advertising, and so on. We talked about a single procurement operator and the development of e-commerce. But you have failed to make any progress whatsoever since then," the head of state said. 

But even against such an unsightly general background, there are organizations that were able to meet the demand and increase sales. Their work evokes only positive feedback from people, Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

"Brest and Grodno have steadily reported net profits over the past five years. But I have my reservations. We need to take a very serious look at what kind of profits those were. I'm not criticizing yet, but I'm questioning it. We need to know for sure. If they really had profits, why others did not? At the same time, Grodno branch was among the first to do a complete makeover and works as a single legal entity, actively implements automation programs and the principles of chain retail trade. There are examples of profitable work of local cooperative societies in all regions. What prevents the rest of you from working in such a way so that people do not complain to the authorities and do not engage in heated debates on social media? Yes, I am informed about such cases in detail," the president said 

He is confident that despite all the shortcomings, the reserves of consumer cooperatives are huge. “The state has always helped you and will continue doing so. But you need to get moving," the Belarusian leader stressed.
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