Join us

Resource centre

You'll find in this section and below a library of resources (mostly) produced by EuroCommerce by type and in chronological order. If you are looking for resources related to a certain subject, issue or policy area, browse our policy areas section.

Filter by:

all

2016

2015

2014

2013

older

Consumer rights

Corporate social responsibility

Employment and social affairs

Environment

European retail action plan

Food, nutrition and health

Internal market

International trade

Logistics

Non-Food

Payment systems

SMEs

Social dialogue

Supply chain

Taxation

Retail Forum - Circular Thinking in the Retail Sector
30 May 2016 open-close-item

On June 1, EuroCommerce, ERRT and the European Commission will organise the first Retail Forum on Sustainability of the year entitled “Circular Thinking in the Retail Sector”. The conference will address key areas of the circular economy, including opportunities for business, product and packaging design, adapting retail operations to meet circular economy goals, and raising consumer awareness. EuroCommerce President Kenneth Bengtsson, Commission DG Environment Deputy Director-General Joanna Drake, Kestutis Sadauskas (Retail Forum Co-Chair & DG Environment), and Pia Heidenmark Cook (Retail Forum Co-Chair & IKEA Group) will be addressing the conference.  

Please come back soon for more content!

close
EuroCommerce finds geoblocking regulation balanced but looks for further clarity for online retailers
25 May 2016 open-close-item
Download pdf

EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren has pressed for the EU to take forward completing the Digital Single Market as a matter of urgency. With the Commission issuing its e-commerce package today, he underlined the importance of creating a vibrant digital market for revitalising the EU economy:

"Europe needs to take full advantage of the opportunities digital technology and a market of 500 million consumers can offer in catching up and overtaking its global competitors. E-Commerce is already happening and growing quickly across Europe. But this growth is not matched in cross-border sales, with a few notable exceptions such as the UK retail market. The digital single market can only work if the many national barriers holding up the single market, whether online or offline, are overcome. That is why we are calling upon member states and the European Parliament to support the Commission’s objective of pushing forward the Digital Single Market, and to take seriously the need for fully harmonised rules to allow the potential of the single market to be realised.”

EuroCommerce welcomed as a first step a proposal for more transparency in pricing of parcel delivery to address the excessive costs of sending parcels abroad, which act as a brake on cross-border e-commerce. We also support a proposal on enforcement of EU consumer rules, although with concerns over whether some of the sanctions proposed are proportionate. The set of principles on comparison websites is an initiative we have already endorsed, as a help to consumers seeking the best deal online.

Of direct interest to the retail and wholesale sector is the geoblocking proposal. This requires retailers to allow consumers unrestricted access to their websites and to sell to them regardless of where they live, but it does not require them to deliver outside their home market. EuroCommerce was pleased that the Commission had taken on board a number of its concerns and welcomed the clarification that traders selling, but not delivering cross-border, would be able to do so under the law of their home state.

Christian Verschueren concluded: “99% of retailers are SMEs. These are the very traders who can benefit most from cross-border e-commerce. The proposal as it stands resolves a longstanding uncertainty, and makes it clear that traders are not forced to deliver everywhere or explain their business decisions. Some other areas not clarified, including questions around the acceptance of different payment methods, how to charge and administer VAT, and unintended actions that could be seen by courts as targeted marketing, could nonetheless act as a strong disincentive to SMEs selling to foreign customers. This cannot be what the Commission wanted, and we will seek to work with them, member states and the European Parliament to help build up a package that overcomes some of these difficulties – in the interests of consumers and traders." 

EuroCommerce’s remaining reservations centre around whether the proposal might end up leaving consumers confused about why retailers could not deliver products. Equally, SMEs running webshops may be deterred from expanding across Europe because of the risk of facing consumer claims or other compliance obligations under differing laws in 27 other member states.

 ~ENDS~

 For further information, please contact:

 Neil McMillan - +32 2 737 05 99 - +32 479 40 22 41  mcmillan@eurocommerce.eu


EuroCommerce

EuroCommerce is the principal European organisation representing the retail and wholesale sector. It embraces national associations in 31 countries and 5.4 million companies, both leading multinational retailers such as Carrefour, Ikea, Metro and Tesco and many small family operations. Retail and wholesale provide a link between producers and 500 million European consumers over a billion times a day. It generates 1 in 7 jobs, providing a varied career for 29 million Europeans, many of them young people. It also supports millions of further jobs throughout the supply chain, from small local suppliers to international businesses. EuroCommerce is the recognised European social partner for the retail and wholesale sector.

 

 

close
Online Contract Rules
12 May 2016 open-close-item
Download pdf

On 9 December 2015, the European Commission published two proposals for Directives harmonising consumer guarantee rules concerning distance (online) sale of goods, and supply of digital content. The proposed Directives aim to fully harmonise selected key consumer protection rules. EuroCommerce has always supported full harmonisation, but balanced and proportionate, and applicable to both onlie and offline.

close
The Digital Narrative
09 May 2016 open-close-item
Download pdf

EuroCommerce Narrative on Retail and Wholesale in a changing world…

Consumers nowadays expect to be able to buy whatever they want, wherever they want, and when they want. They expect it to be delivered immediately, and in a way which suits teir lifestyle best.  This means a major revolution in the ways in which our sector has to do business. The narrative explains what we are indeed already doing proactively to respond to these demands, and to shape the future of retail and wholesale, through omni-channel an flexible means of embracing consumers’ new lifestyles and expectations. It also stresses the need for harmonized EU rules, and a properly working single market providing a level playing field in regulation of online and offlines sales.

Digital Narrative - scroll down

close
Agri-markets transparency tools
03 May 2016 open-close-item
Download pdf

Key messages

1. EuroCommerce sees value in facilitating a better understanding of the process of value transmission throughout the supply chain. With a few rare exceptions, retailers do not buy directly from farmers. A direct link between commodity prices and retail food prices is therefore difficult to establish without an analysis of the food processing and distribution structures, as well as the relative cost of the inputs going into a product.


2. Price transparency must not lead to price collusion on the market. Increased transparency should not hamper companies’ negotiating capacity and strategic positioning, and thus restrict competition. Data should be collected in a way that makes it impossible to identify the cost or pricing structure of any individual company


3. Price observatories may play a useful role in generating trust and greater understanding of the functioning of the chain among stakeholder groups. They may do so by generating an informed picture of value transmission among public policy makers and stakeholders.


4. A useful discussion is only possible if all sectors contribute equally. We would strongly encourage all the relevant sector to contribute to this exercise with the same degree of transparency.


5. The benefits of generating data should be balanced out against their limited practical use by operators and avoid creating unnecessary financial and administrative costs. In this respect, we would see benefit in better leveraging the data generated by existing national food price observatories as it would help improve understanding of the process of price pass through and price formation mechanisms.


6. Comparing food prices across Europe is of relatively limited benefit as a result of different cost structures and national consumer preferences. Comparing gross margins across sectors is also of limited benefit. The retailer gross margin only reflects the difference between the cost of goods purchased by the retailer and the consumer price. It covers all operating costs incurred by the retailer (real estate, personnel costs, equipment,

close
Retailer Brands Report
27 Apr 2016 open-close-item
Download pdf

Today, retailer brands make up some 30% of the grocery retail market in Europe. But the degree to which consumers choose them varies across countries and product categories. The report “Retailer Brands – Serving Consumers, SMEs and Innovation” focuses on four main areas: the benefit to consumers; how retailer brands foster competition and choice; how they drive innovation, and support small and medium sized enterprises.

It also underlines the need for the findings of the recent Commission study on modern retail developments and their impact on consumer choice and innovation to be seen in the wider context of consumer benefit, and allowing small manufacturers to grow their business through the network and the retailer’s ecosystem into which it can integrate its product.

The Retailer Brands

close
Member States self-interest fragmenting the single market
20 Apr 2016 open-close-item
Download pdf

Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce, today commented on the European Parliament Internal Market and Consumer Rights committee adoption of two important own initiative reports by Daniel Dalton (UK, ECR) and Lara Comi (IT, EPP). Both reports press the Commission and Member States to act on further deepening the Single Market, breaking down unjustified barriers that fragment the single market, and removing discriminatory and protectionist national practices.

“Despite the original target of a single market by 1992, we are still, 25 years later, waiting for a properly-functioning single market for goods and services. Member States need to stop pursuing short-sighted political interests that unnecessarily fragment the single market. The single market offers Europe the best chance of returning to growth, and governments must understand that protectionist, beggar-my-neighbour policies end up making everyone poorer, especially their own countries. The Commission needs to devote more resources to preventing infringements and making a step change in the at present failing notification procedure under the Services Directive.” Christian Verschueren said.

The Dalton report on Non-tariff barriers in the Single Market points out that the retail and wholesale sector still suffers from fragmentation and discrimination. Choosing a term normally used in global trade, Daniel Dalton was rightly underlining how far we are still from Europe being a real home market for all European companies. He echoes the concerns of many businesses, who have said that it is easier to do business with the US or Canada than with other EU countries. The report also indicates that many business tools like Points of Single Contact, Product Contact Points and SOLVIT need further significant improvement.

EuroCommerce welcomes the strong focus on SMEs in Lara Comi’s report on the Single Market strategy, which represents 99% of retail and wholesale businesses. The amendments tabled also offer an opportunity for the Parliament to simplify and streamline the large, and still expanding, number of mandatory labelling and information requirements applied to products.

The key single market priorities of the European retail and wholesale sector are outlined in our position paper. These include better application and enforcement of EU law; simplified information requirements; streamlined EU non-food product legislation and giving businesses (especially SMEs) better access to the information they need to do business across Europe. We hope these two reports, which will now go to the EP Plenary for final adoption, will give new impetus to allowing the single market to create new jobs, new growth and more consumer choice.

~ENDS~

 

 

For further information, please contact:

Clodagh Quain - +32 2 737 05 89 - quain@eurocommerce.eu

Neil McMillan - +32 2 737 05 99 - mcmillan@eurocommerce.eu 

close
Retailer brands benefit consumers, competition and innovation - EuroCommerce and ERRT launch new report
19 Apr 2016 open-close-item
Download pdf

At an event today hosted by MEP Ivan Štefanec, EuroCommerce and the European Retail Round Table (ERRT) released a new report on the benefits of retailer brands. Today, retailer brands make up some 30% of the grocery retail market in Europe. But the degree to which consumers choose them varies across countries and product categories. The report “Retailer Brands – Serving Consumers, SMEs and Innovation” is based on a review of current knowledge and focuses on four main areas: 1) the benefits to consumers; 2) how retailer brands foster competition and choice; 3) how retailers innovate with retailer brands, and 4) small and medium-sized enterprises thrive with the production of retailer brands.

The report also underlines the need for the findings of the Commission study on modern retail developments and their impact on consumer choice and innovation, to be seen in the wider context of consumer benefit. The findings also need to reflect how retailer brands allow small manufacturers to grow their business using the retailer’s ecosystem to sell their products.

“Our report shows that consumers value retailer brands, trust them and buy them again and again. While price remains a top priority for consumers, they also look for quality and the ability to compare products and switch to what suits their wishes and needs. With a range of product options from premium to budget ranges, and organic, “free-from” and “fair trade”, retailer bands make a real contribution to customer satisfaction”, Christian Verschueren, Director-General, EuroCommerce, commented.

Susanne Czech, Director-General, ERRT, stressed the choice and competition retailer brands offer: “In a highly competitive environment, retailer brands are a means for retailers to differentiate and provide consumers with real choice. If retailers were all selling branded goods only, they would only compete on price. This would fuel a “price race” to the bottom, with none of the benefits of choice which retailer brands offer. Retailer brands make a real difference to consumers every day, and that is why they choose them”.

Commenting on innovation, Koen de Jong IPLC[1] said: “Innovation in retailer brands is flourishing. The process of introducing innovation is the result of co-development between the retailer and the supplier. It is more responsive to consumer demand and dramatically increases shopper choice”.

Speaking on behalf of the Private Label Manufacturers Association, Judith Kolenburg added: “Today, the retailer brands industry is exciting. The need for new products, contacts and ideas has never been greater. PLMA’s next trade show at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam will present over 4,300 exhibit stands, including nearly 60 national and regional pavilions”.

Based on its key findings, the report recommends policy-makers to continue to encourage competition in the market, to resist pressure to treat retailer brands as an unfair practice, and to recognise retailer brands as a powerful driver of consumer choice and innovation.

The report is available here.

~ENDS~

For further information, please contact:

Clodagh Quain - +32 2 737 05 89 - quain@eurocommerce.eu  

Neil McMillan - +32 2 737 05 99 - mcmillan@eurocommerce.eu  

Daniel Gerber - +32 2 808 48 80 - d.gerber@errt.org



[1] International Private Label Consult http://iplc-europe.com/

close
Retailer Brands Event
18 Apr 2016 open-close-item

On Tuesday 19 April, EuroCommerce and the European Retail Round Table will with the support of co-host MEP Ivan Stefanec host a Retailer Brands Event at the European Parliament. 

Today, retailer brands make up some 30% of the grocery retail market in Europe. But the degree to which consumers choose them varies across countries and product categories. The report “Retailer Brands – Serving Consumers, SMEs and Innovation” focuses on four main areas: the benefit to consumers; how retailer brands foster competition and choice; how they drive innovation, and support small and medium sized enterprises.

It also underlines the need for the findings of the recent Commission study on modern retail developments and their impact on consumer choice and innovation to be seen in the wider context of consumer benefit, and allowing small manufacturers to grow their business through the network and the retailer’s ecosystem into which it can integrate its product.

Report

Retailer Brands Report - Serving Consumers, SMEs and Innovation

Material

Programme

List of participants

Press Release

Flickr link

Presentations

EuroCommerce - Retailer Brands - Serving Consumers, SMEs and Innovation

Auchan - Franck Geretzhuber 

Koen de Jong (upon request via bjerg@eurocommerce.eu) 

close
EuroCommerce Overview of Single Market Barriers in the EU
11 Apr 2016 open-close-item
Download pdf

The Single Market is still far from complete. In many aspects the European Union is still a
mosaic of 28 different national markets. This overview provides some examples of barriers
that retailers and wholesalers face in the Single Market. We ask the Member States, the
Commission and the European Parliament to consider and address the barriers identified here. The best way for the retail and wholesale sector to provide jobs and growth is to create a business-friendly environment where there is full competition and consumers can enjoy a wide range of high quality and safe products.

close

Filter by:

all

2016

2015

2014

2013

Filter by:

all

2016

2015

2014

2013

older

Consumer rights

Corporate social responsibility

Employment and social affairs

Environment

European retail action plan

Food, nutrition and health

Internal market

International trade

Logistics

Non-Food

Payment systems

SMEs

Social dialogue

Supply chain

Taxation

Filter by:

all

Consumer rights

Corporate social responsibility

Employment and social affairs

Environment

European retail action plan

Food, nutrition and health

Internal market

International trade

Logistics

Non-Food

Payment systems

SMEs

Social dialogue

Supply chain

Taxation