Supermarkets in Taiwan reported NT$165.4 billion (US$5.36 billion) in combined revenue for the first nine months of the year at 2,201 stores, both numbers being records, a report released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Thursday showed.
From January to September, revenue at supermarkets saw a 5.9 percent increase year-on-year, higher than the annual growth rates at department stores and hypermarkets of 2.87 percent and 3.77 percent respectively, but lower than the rise of 6.7 percent at convenience stores, the report said.
Supermarkets have posted higher annual revenue than hypermarkets since 2016 and the gap has increased in the past two years, the ministry said.
In the first nine months, supermarkets’ revenues outdid hypermarkets by NT$10.8 billion, it said.
“Supermarkets provide merchandise in smaller sizes or lower volumes than goods of the same kind in hypermarkets, which consumers tend to prefer as the number of small families increases,” Department of Statistics Section Chief Tsai Mei-chuan (蔡美娟) told the Taipei Times by telephone yesterday.
Even though supermarket revenue has placed third since 2016, trailing convenience stores and department stores, it has shown stable, strong growth in recent years, Tsai said, adding that supermarket revenue grew by 7.2 percent annually on average from 2013 to last year, compared with the increase for hypermarkets, department stores and convenience stores, which was less than 4 percent.
With food and beverages comprising 66.8 percent of their overall sales, supermarkets sell “necessity goods,” so their revenue can keep rising stably, unaffected by business cycles, while economic downturns easily affect department stores, she said, adding that supermarkets saw annual revenues surpass NT$200 billion for the first time last year and are likely to have record sales again this year.
The net increase of supermarket outlets was 38 as of Sept. 30, the report said.
With 934 outlets, Pxmart (全聯) remained the leader in the segment, followed by Simple Mart (美廉社) with 641 stores and Wellcome Supermarket (頂好超市) with 226 stores, it said.
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