Commerce in Europe
The commerce sector plays a unique role in human activity. It serves over a billion times a day as the link between manufacturers and the 500 million consumers across Europe.
Commerce is a dynamic, labour-intensive and major sector of the European economy. It generates 11% of the EU's GDP. One in three European companies is in commerce. Over 99% of these six million companies in commerce are SMEs (small & medium-sized enterprises).
The sector is also a major source of employment creation: 33 million Europeans work in commerce and the sector is one the few sectors steadily creating employment across Europe. Two million jobs have been created in retail/wholesale over the last ten years.
The commerce sector furthermore supports millions of dependent jobs throughout the supply chain from small local suppliers to international businesses.
Facts & figures
One company out of four in Europe is active in the commerce sector. Commerce is one of the main job providers in the EU. Our sector thrives on fierce competition, keeping prices low and boosting innovation in the supply chain.
See below for some key data, or have a look at our study, "Retail & Wholesale: Key sectors for the European economy".Read more
History of commerce
Some say commerce has its origin in pre-historic times approximately 150,000 years ago when people started exchanging goods with each other. The introduction of money facilitated further the trade of merchandises and services.Read more