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Wholesalers key to Europe's economy

04 March 2020
by eub2 -- last modified 04 March 2020

EuroCommerce today launched its report "Wholesale at the Centre of Europe’s Economy" setting out wholesalers' key contribution to making the European economy work.


The report describes the very diverse roles of wholesalers across a wide range of sectors and the challenges they face.  It also points to a number of priorities for policy action which can serve to address these.

Wholesale is a key contributor to Europe's economy. Nearly 2 million companies are wholesale businesses providing quality work to 11 million Europeans, making up 5% of total EU employment, and generating together €660 billion value-added.

Wholesalers play an important role in the value chain, providing a vital link between producer and retailer, along with a wide range of services to business.  Wholesale is constantly changing and embracing the challenges of digitalisation, sustainability, and developing employee skills. Wholesalers are overwhelmingly SMEs, and 91% are micro-businesses with less 10 employees. They need a policy framework at the European level that will minimise the regulatory burden and help them thrive.

Wholesalers link industry and professional customers and create a seamless service to retailers, public authorities, industry and other professionals and service providers, and are often at the centre of sophisticated data-driven industrial ecosystems, providing goods and added-value services to their business customers.

President of EuroCommerce, Régis Degelcke, said:

"Wholesale is often not visible to the general public, yet it plays an unsung and vital role in the European economy. This is what the report we are launching today sets out to explain, and to underline why wholesale is important to all of us. The lack of a proper understanding of this can lead to legislation, formulated without realising its impact on them, hitting wholesalers hard. We are today seeking to improve that understanding and call for policies which support wholesalers' competitiveness and long-term sustainability."

EuroCommerce is the principal European organisation representing the retail and wholesale sector. It embraces national associations in 31 countries and 5.4 million companies, both leading global players such as Carrefour, Ikea, Metro and Tesco, and many small businesses. Retail and wholesale provide a link between producers and 500 million European consumers over a billion times a day. It generates 1 in 7 jobs, providing a varied career for 29 million Europeans, many of them young people. It also supports millions of further jobs throughout the supply chain, from small local suppliers to international businesses. EuroCommerce is the recognised European social partner for the retail and wholesale sector.

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