Stepan Zemtsov, Senior Researcher of the Innovation-Driven Economy Department, Gaidar Institute commented to the REGNUM News Agency on the RF Government’s calls to support small-scale trade in regions.

In Stepan Zemtsov’s view, in Russia the retail chains’ share in the overall retail trade volume is growing, but not that fast as in 2010.

“Retail chains, shopping malls and neighborhood stores are gradually squeezing out small outlets and retail markets not only in large cities, but also in rural district centers. The retail chains’ share in the overall retail trade volume is growing, but not at the rate as in 2010s because the most lucrative niches in cities have already been occupied, while the profit margin in small populated areas is not very high. Small-scale trade was hit during the coronacrisis: retail chains managed quickly to arrange food supplies, while retail markets and small outlets failed because of lack of funds,” noted Stepan Zemtsov.

In large urban agglomerations of the Russian Federation, it is possible to ensure small private outlets’ access to buyers by means of organizing weekend markets and farmers’ markets.

“It is necessary to find the balance between retail chains and local entrepreneurs with the specified issues taken into account. However, regions vary fr om one another. There are regions with the shadow economy-related problems still prevailing and there are others wh ere retail chains have already divided all markets. So, instruments should be diversified. In large urban agglomerations, it is important to ensure small private enterprises’ and farmers’ access to customers,” the expert believes.

According to Stepan Zemtsov, this access can be facilitated through organization of weekend markets and farmers’ markets and introduction of limitations on retail chains’ operating at week-ends.