Specialized food retailing: has the decline been halted?
In the past 15 years, specialized food retailing (which includes, for example, bakeries and pastry shops, butchers and delicatessens, and fishmongers) has undergone a sharp contraction. Between 1993 and 2007, its market share dropped from 22% to 17% and the number of shops from 120,000 to 106,000. The two products hardest hit by the downtrend are meat and bread. By and large, however, the decline seems to have been halted in the 2000s (except for meat and fish). For fruits and vegetables and beverages, specialized food retailing has actually recaptured market share since the early 2000s. At the same time, the average workforce of retail outlets has increased. The average workforce of specialized food shops rose from 2.3 in 1993 to 2.9 in 2007.