Wholesale in the age of change – where can the EU help?

Wholesale in the age of change – where can the EU help?
© Shutterstock

(Content provided by EuroCommerce) EuroCommerce, which represents companies and commerce federations in 31 countries, calls upon the European Union to help wholesalers survive and thrive in a changing world.

"Essential players"

Wholesalers are essential players in the value chain of many sectors. With technological developments, in particular digital, and other external factors, B2B traders and service companies have had to re-examine their role and business models. Digital technology is transforming wholesale as it does other sectors of the economy, and new skills are needed to meet this challenge to contribute to a competitive EU economy.

 

MEP Brando Benifei, speaking at the 5th annual Wholesale Day organised by EuroCommerce, said: “The European Parliament is committed to boosting the skills required to reply to the needs of a transformed economy through digitisation of the European industries and services sectors. Wholesalers have to take up this challenge of our age and have already proven successfully to do so in many e-commerce B2B activities. Promoting digital skills will help workers and businesses to adapt to new technologies. The EU New Skills Agenda therefore has a digital focus and will help increase the productivity and competitiveness of Europe’s workforce.”

 

Wholesale in Europe represents almost 2 million companies, EUR 6 trillion in turnover, and 10 million jobs. As the principal EU association for wholesale and retail, EuroCommerce called for policymakers to recognise the contribution of B2B trade to growth, jobs and wealth in Europe, and set policies that help the sector to contribute to the European economy in an efficient and productive way.

 

Though not always visible to the general public, wholesale is a major job engine at the centre of Europe’s economy. It plays a pivotal role as an interface between producers, importers, manufacturers, retail and service providers. More than 7% of the EU’s non-financial business economy workforce is in the B2B sector. As wholesale offers high-quality skilled jobs, its labour productivity is above average. Most of the jobs in wholesale are generated by SMEs. Companies in many sectors benefit greatly from the know-how and the product diversity offered daily by wholesalers across the EU.

 

Kenneth Bengtsson, President of EuroCommerce underlined the need for EU policy to support this transformation: “Wholesale is crucial for Europe´s growth and employment. Wholesale companies are at the heart of trade in goods and services worldwide, providing consumers with products from all corners of the world. We need the EU to help in dismantling barriers to market access and to make is easier for wholesalers to import and export goods and services.”

 

Focusing on the importance of partnerships between wholesalers and schools, Bengtsson added: “We also need stronger partnerships between education providers and wholesale companies to provide the right skills for the sector and to make it easier for young people to make the transition into rewarding careers. The sector is already doing its bit in providing a wide range of apprenticeships including training in skills in designing and using new technology.”

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Gerelateerde items

Harrods plans biggest make-over in its 180-year history

24/11/2017

During the next three years, Harrods will be thoroughly revamped. The London luxury department store is investing a staggering 200 million pound (225 million euro) into its largest renovation to date and into new online services for its Chinese customers.

LensOnline targets German expansion

22/11/2017

Belgian LensGroup, which dominates Belgian online contact lens sales alongside LensOnline, is slowly conquering the European market. Following the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, it is now targeting the German market.

Europe halts geoblocking

22/11/2017

Negotiators for the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission reached an agreement on a geoblocking ban. With geoblocking, web shops could exclude visitors from other countries.

Hema targets extensive expansion in Germany

21/11/2017

Store chain Hema has major plans for Germany: in the next three years, it will open at least seventy new stores, which is a huge increase compared to the eleven it currently has in the country. Hema also targets shop-in-shops and stores in train stations.

Amazon almost ready to launch first cashierless Go

20/11/2017

According to certain sources, Amazon is currently hiring construction managers and marketers for its Amazon Go team. This move may suggest that the cashierless supermarket concept may be ready for prime time – for real this time.

Turnover for 100 largest web shops in Belgium grows 13.5 %

16/11/2017

Turnover for the top 100 web shops in Belgium grew 13.5 % from 3.7 to 4.2 billion euro. Digital sales for food items and household products have increased considerably.

Back to top