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Saturday 17.03.2018 | Name days: Ģertrūde, Gerda, Gertrūde

ELVI: competition is fierce in the commercial sector

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUEven though current trends in Latvia show improvement of the economic situation and the fact that six new partners had joined ELVI last year, competition remains fierce in the commercial sector, as ELVI Latvia Commercial Director Laila Vārtukapteine told BNN in an interview.

What are some of the most notable recent events in your sector?

First of all, it is worth mentioning Latvia’s admission into Eurozone, which was a major event in the lives of all residents and entrepreneurs in Latvia. Another major event was the acquisition of IKI by Mego.

Can you say economic conditions are improving and there is a lot of potential for economic growth in the market?

General trends in Latvia demonstrate the improvement of the economic situation: GDP indexes continue to grow, number of employed persons continues to increase as well. The same can be said about birth rates and residents’ purchasing power. Development indexes of ELVI Latvia also demonstrate signs of development. Six new franchise partners joined ELVI in 2013. 22 ELVI stores were opened in Latvia.

Even though the rate of development of Latvia’s economy looks positive, it is important to keep in mind the situation in Ukraine and possible economic sanctions that may impact the economy of the European Union and Latvia.

How would you describe the government’s economy policy aimed at improving the economic situation in the country?

I believe it is too soon to discuss the government’s economic policy. The new government had only begun its work at the beginning of 2014.

How is the industry affected by Latvia’s policy? What changes to legislation would you like to see? What helps? What makes things more complicated?

Latvia’s policy directly impacts retail trade by adding new laws and amendments. While we were positive about joining Eurozone and multiple government employment projects, some laws, including the bill on the Prohibition of Unfair Retail Trade Practice, make us express heavy criticism, because they negatively impact the existence and development of Latvian entrepreneurs.

In spite of the fact that we are a union of retailers, as a member of the Latvian Traders Association, ELVI Latvia always actively participates in discussions of matters important to the sector.

What can you can your ‘trump card’? What is your ‘Achilles’ heel’?

ELVI Latvia is a franchise that has shown itself in the world as a very successful business model with a great development potential. However, there are plenty of small traders and networks of stores in Latvia. Competition is fierce in the commercial sector. This is why a reasonable step for business would be consolidation with a stable and recognisable partner in order to secure sustainability, development and competitiveness for business.

Can you say there is a lack of skilled workers in Latvia?

Unfortunately, rotation of employees is very often in the commercial sector. This is why ELVI voluntarily participates in different employment and education support programmes.

What do you predict for the next five years? With the economic situation in the industry improve, worsen or stay the same?

The outlook compiled by Ernst&Young shows Latvia’s economic situation will continue to improve in the next five years. This also applies to retail trade. Latvia will remain a leader in terms of economic growth rates in Eurozone.


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