Innovation and free markets at the heart of retail


30 November 2017

Digital technology is sparking a major transformation in retail. Embracing and driving innovation offers a major challenge and a key opportunity for retailers. The four major European retail associations, EuroCommerce, Euro Coop, European Retail Round Table (ERRT) and Independent Retail Europe, made “Innovation and how to drive it” the central theme of their first European Retail Day in Brussels.

The event, which attracted over 200 participants, heard EU Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen and a series of retail leaders speak on this theme. 

Driven by digital technology, consumer behaviour and preferences are evolving. How retailers respond to these fundamental shifts will be key to the future success of the sector. While technology and digitalisation poses many challenges, they also have the power to be a force for good for retailers, enabling shopping to continue to be a vibrant and exciting experience for consumers, both in store and online. Today’s event provided for an insight into retailers’ positive response to the digital transformation and their important contributions to a more sustainable and socially responsible development.

Ralf Gerking, President of Independent Retail Europe, said:
“Our group structures enable independent retailers to be innovative, modern and competitive entrepreneurs. Groups of independent retailers now represent over 6 million jobs in the EU, thus making a valuable contribution to the EU economy and to the diversity of the market, for added choice for consumers. This diversity is part of our European cultural heritage and of the attractiveness of European cities and towns. The retail sector therefore needs a targeted policy package that enables all business models to be competitive on all channels and that supports a diverse, fair, innovative, competitive and sustainable European retail market, with a chapter on sustainable, modern and lively cities with a diverse retail offer.”

The full press release is available here.

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