There are some geographical regions where the changing retail scene was, or is, a kind of revolution. The central and eastern European countries go from centrally planned and supplied retail systems through privatisation to the phase of initial trade consolidation. This last phase is still far from established markets like Hungary. The paper focuses on Hungary, examining the differences of the fast Moving consumer goods (fmcg) grocery retail structure of Hungary and various western and central European countries. Based on the number and turnover importance of food stores with a selling area less than 100m 2 , Hungary seems to be moving towards the southern European retail structure. The transition from a mostly state-owned retail system to a demand driven free market was made within six to seven years. This Paper models the steps of transformation and its characteristics. Although it is difficult to forecast how long it will take to reach the trade concentration of the western European countries, factors influencing the speed of development are mentioned.