Hungary - Country Commercial Guide
Distribution and Sales Channels
Last published date:

Unlike the rest of Hungary, Budapest’s retail sector has many prestigious superstores, shopping centers, hypermarkets, and supermarkets. The most successful distribution companies in Hungary are wholly owned subsidiaries of international chains such as Auchan, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, DM, Rossmann, OBI, Praktiker, and IKEA just to name a few. The typical distribution channel in Hungary is for importer-wholesalers to service retailers and end-users directly. B2B and B2C are rapidly expanding.  Hungarian agents or distributors usually look to and rely on foreign partners to share the marketing and promotion expenses and to provide training and financing.  Until recently, small, independent, family-owned shops dominated Hungary’s retail sector, especially in the less populated parts of the country. Thousands of these shops continue to serve rural populations, posing logistical challenges for distributors and suppliers. However, medium-sized, financially well-established heavy-discount chains are making headway in Hungary’s retail sector with retail units present in smaller villages and other settlements.  Such chains include Real grocery stores having 1093 shops, CBA with 1987 outlets, and Coop supermarket with 3838 stores nationwide. Real, CBA and Coop are fully Hungarian-owned and have expanded into the neighboring regions. Discount food chain stores are also present in the market. Lidl has 197 stores nationwide; Aldi, 163; Penny Market, 229; and Spar/InterSpar operates close to 623 stores.

At the end of 2022, 42 shopping malls operated in Budapest, and another 80 outside of Budapest around the country.  The largest malls in Budapest are Allee, Arena, Arkad, Mammut, MOM Park, WestEnd and the newly opened Etele.

Companies interested in investment and trade issues can also contact the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) and the Hungarian Export Promotion Agency (HEPA). HIPA has the authority to enhance foreign direct investment into Hungary, while the Trade House strives to seek out new markets and opportunities for Hungarian enterprises and supports Hungarian SMEs with business development services such as export promotions abroad.

For the latest Investment Climate Statement (ICS) which includes information on investment and business environments in foreign economies pertinent to establishing and operating an office and to hiring employees, visit the U.S. Department of Department of State’s Investment Climate Statement website.