Albania - Distribution and Sales ChannelsDistribution & Sales
U.S. companies that seek to enter the market and distribute goods can find a considerable number of merchants, agents, intermediaries, wholesalers, and retailers in Albania. Most distribution channels are in place and a number of large retailers have entered the Albanian market in the recent years. The majority of trade goes through the Port of Durres, which handles more than 90 percent of maritime trade. Albania also has two smaller ports: Vlore in the south and Shengjin in the north. Land-based trade can clear customs at border-crossings with Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, or Montenegro.
Small private shops, many of which carry Italian and Greek goods, dominate the retail sector, though retail chains, including supermarket chains Spar and Conad, have proliferated in recent years. As well, Inditex, which owns brands including Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, and Stradivarius, entered the market in 2014. Other large retailers include Megatek (DIY), GoTech, Globe, and Neptune (electronics and appliances). The first shopping mall (QTU) opened in 2005, followed by City Park shopping mall in 2009. Tirana East Gate (which houses Spar and Inditex) opened in 2011, followed by Ring Shopping Mall, in 2015. Toptani Shopping Mall opened recently in central Tirana. Shopping malls have opened in other major urban areas in Albania.
Capital goods and specialized equipment is normally sold directly to manufacturers and businesses. When selling capital goods or equipment to businesses, an agent is essential. Consumer-oriented trade shows are also an important part of the retail scene in Albania.