Retail and wholesale are diverse, job-rich, innovative, and increasingly digital

Publikováno: 25. 5. 2014

Oxford study highlights the sector’s critical importance for the European economy

A report by the Oxford Saïd Business School1 , released today, shows the magnitude of the commerce sector, its diversity, its dynamism and contribution to innovation, growth, and its employment creation in Europe. It further shows that the sector is going through profound transformation with the growth of online trading at the heart of this.

The report was presented to Commissioner De Gucht at the launch event in Brussels. It highlights that one in 4 businesses in the EU is a retail or wholesale operation (contributing 1/10th of EU’s GDP), with a diversity and multiplicity of business formats in both sectors – from global leaders to a myriad of small to very small businesses. This plurality of stores and channels responds to the wide diversity of consumer and customer preferences  across Europe. The report also illustrates the impact of external factors, such as regulation on the competitiveness of business.

Innovation is at the heart of retail and wholesale. A striking particularity is that retail and  wholesale companies are more likely to engage in open, collaborative innovation than many other sectors, incrementally adapting their services and value propositions through a process of continual innovation. Examples include innovative technology systems, the development of successful private label brands, new processes and technologies related to more efficient supply chain management, product tracking and tracing, pricing devices on shelves, and electronic commerce.

The sector employs 29 million people, or 1 in 7 working Europeans. In a climate of high unemployment, especially amongst young people (one in four retail employees is aged 15-24), both large and small retail and wholesale businesses offer young people a wide range of jobs to fit all skills and education levels.

The digital economy is driving a major transformation of the European retail and wholesale sectors. For retail and wholesale firms, digitalisation brings opportunities and challenges for greater efficiency, new business models and trading formats, and creating new jobs with new skill requirements. Customers take advantage of this transformation by seeing more competitive prices, greater convenience and new opportunities for cross-border purchasing.

The full Oxford study can be downloaded bellow or via the following weblink:
http://www.eurocommerce.eu/resource-centre.aspx#Publication/7459

~ENDS~

Additional documentation:

Study (attached)     
Study flyer (attached)

Speech: Introductory remarks, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, EuroCommerce President

Presentation: Key findings of the study, Jonathan Reynolds, Oxford Institute of Retail Management
Presentation: Bruno Colmant, Partner at Roland Berger

Photographs from the event

 




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