Digital 2030 targets: creating an omnichannel retail and wholesale world
Press release - Digital, Technology & Payments
9 March 2021
Welcoming the publication of the Commission’s 2030 Digital Targets today, Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce said:
“We very much support the Commission in their planning for the successful digital transformation of Europe by 2030. Retail and wholesale companies are already embracing digital, and have invested in accelerating their plans in response to the significant switch to online sales during the COVID pandemic. But the sector needs help in this: for example, 2 out of 3 retail companies, especially SMEs, do not sell online and have, as a result, been hard hit by the crisis. These urgently need support to make this transition, vital to their survival. All businesses need Europe to invest in a state-of-the-art digital infrastructure everywhere and to upskill its people to remain competitive.”
The retail and wholesale sector is undergoing a profound transformation, responding to consumer demand for increased choice of products, and choice of how, when and where they buy them. The COVID crisis has demonstrated how important digitalisation for retailers and wholesalers. While many in our sector have been affected by the crisis, those who had online operations were able at least to partly mitigate the impact. But building up e-commerce and an omnichannel offering to consumers takes a lot of initial investment and a lot of time to break even.
9 March 2021
Retail and wholesale has been recognised by the Commission as an essential ecosystem for European recovery, serving as an important link between multiple industry ecosystems and a vital conduit to the consumers and businesses who buy their products. Our sector is the largest private sector employer in Europe, and also a linchpin in the viability of local ecosystems – a town centre or rural community with no shops quickly decays and declines. Hence the need for investment by the EU and national governments under the Next Generation EU programme and the overall EU budget to bolster the resilience as well as the digital and green transformation of retail and wholesale.
To provide direction and ideas, EuroCommerce has called for a European Pact for Commerce with 10 asks on investment and 10 asks on policy.