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EuroCommerce welcomes the European Commission initiative on repair and reuse and we are committed to establish a circular economy. Retail and wholesale play an important role in the circular economy as the interlocuter between the consumer and the manufacturer. We provide our customers with a wide choice of products and services, all relevant and legally required information for affordable prices. Especially retail is a consumer driven industry, where consumer demand will shape retailers’ offer. In this sense, we wholeheartedly welcome the support and promotion of a more sustainable lifestyle, as this will allow retailers to provide more and better sustainable products to consumers.
Our sector is usually not the producer of products, but resells products from producers to consumers (retail) and to other businesses (wholesale). Some of our members assume the responsibility of the producer when they import products from outside the EU or sell them under their own brand. We check whether all the legally required information is on the product, but we depend on the producer1 to provide us with that information (e.g. composition, safety, traceability, sustainability, etc.). Retailers and wholesalers may facilitate repairs for consumers, may repair products themselves, also after expiration of the legal guarantee.
For consumers, the retailer (trader) is often the first point of call when a consumer has questions or when something is wrong with the product. Retailers provide them with remedies (replacement, repair, reimbursement) and advice. Information labels on products are instrumental to provide consumers with more information, but at the same time, there are already so many labels that consumers may be overloaded with information. It is important to ensure that the information on a label is meaningful and effective. Consumers will likely just read a few labels before making a decision. So far price is still the main point of reference for the majority of consumers.