The retail and wholesale sector is in the midst of transformative change and investing now in transforming digitally and sustainably and in talent and skills is crucial. To make these investments, the sector needs support.

Driven by evolving consumer behaviour, the need to decarbonise the economy and new digital megatrends, the investments will enable the sector to keep pace in a dynamic, competitive, innovative and increasingly global market. The doubling share of e-commerce (from 15 to 30%) by 2030, is expected to drive 90% of growth in the sector.


This requires the sector:

  • To invest up to €600 billion to transform digitally and sustainably and to find new talent and improve skills to support and drive this change; and
  • To focus on the future, despite the distraction of short-term priorities and the need to respond to the crisis, including what is unfolding as energy prices rise.

The total investment amount is close to the entire funds under the EU Recovery and Resilience initiative aimed at making European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.

Retailers and wholesalers need to act in five priority areas but cannot do it alone.

  1. Accelerating digitalisation
  2. Modernising stores and warehouses strengthening their role in town centres
  3. Advancing to net zero
  4. Prioritising circularity and waste reduction
  5. Building and developing skills

We need direct support to finance the investment and delivery by policymakers of the right framework, including structural reforms to provide infrastructure to incentivise action.

For more information on this report, please contact Leena Whittaker, Director for Competitiveness.