Consumers and the governor of the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) agree – retail margins in Serbia are too high. Depending on the product, they range between 3% and 80%, and in the case of some products, margins can go up to 400%.
The lowest margins are those on basic groceries, and they range from 3% to 10%. The margins on clothes and footwear are 40% on average, while baby and children products can have margins of up to 100%. Luxury products have the highest margins which can sometimes go over 400%.
The NBS governor, Jorgovanka Tabakovic said recently that stronger dinar did not positively affect consumer prices, and the reason for this is high retail margins.
„Yes, margins are too high, and in certain cases, they exceed 400%“, says Petar Bogosavljevic, President of the Consumers Movement. Just ask yourself how is it possible that a retailer in Serbia reduces their prices up to 50%, and still generate the same profit like their counterparts in Europe who have not reduced prices?! I have to disagree (with the NBS governor) about retail margins being the main reason why strong dinar did not result in lower prices. The stronger dinar is not really a result of stronger economy in Serbia, but rather it is stronger because of certain external factors in Europe where inflation and printing of fresh money consequentially affected the value of our currency“, Bogosavljevic adds.
Zarko Malinovic from the Serbian Chamber of Commerce claims that retail margins in Serbia are lower than in the region or in Europe, and adds that purchasing power of an average consumer in Serbia could not withstand a huge gap between producers’ and retailers’ prices.
“In most product categories, margins range from 3% to 10%. The lowest margins are applied to food products like milk, meat, cooking oil, sugar and flour and they are between 3% and 5%. Higher margins are applied to luxury goods, produced under famous brands, but the imported quantities of these products are quite small. The profit margin in Serbia is around 3.5% on average in retail, and 6.4% in industry”, Malinovic explains.
(Vecernje Novosti, 18.11.2017)
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