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    STUDIA NEGOTIA - Issue no. 1 / 2010  

  Abstract:  Distributive trade of the Republic of Croatia is an important segment of the Croatian economy. This can be confirmed by the share of distributive trade in the creation of GDP, by the share of employed persons, by the share of the number of registered enterprises and by the share of the number of active enterprises. Crafts are a manifestation of the Croatian distributive trade which, to a certain extent, contributes to the overall increase in its importance, as shown by the mentioned indicators. Crafts form part of small enterprises. Their business position is extremely unfavorable. What makes the position of crafts in the segment of distributive trade even harder is the intensified process of its expansion and concentration, with one consequence being the increased importance of a limited, small number of biggest enterprises. Tradesmen in the segment of distributive trade are mainly small independent merchants who, as a rule, own one business unit such as a shop or a repair shop. The inadequate size of such a business unit prevents the introduction of a basic sales technology on which all contemporary sales formats from supermarkets to electronic sales are based. This basic sales technology includes self-selection and self-service which contribute to the rationalization of business costs, primarily by lowering operating costs and by increasing efficiency through the possibility of increase in permeability of shops. The economic status of merchants is significantly determined by the technological basis of sales. The fragmentation of sales capacities and their technological backwardness are important factors that determine the economic strength of small independent merchants as a whole, as well as the segment of tradesmen. As a rule, tradesmen operate small shops and do not have a diversified sales structure as regards shop formats. This paper looks into the importance of crafts in the distributive trade of the Republic of Croatia.

Keywords: craft, tradesmen, distributive trade, the Republic of Croatia.
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