The Future of Retail in Europe

Posted by Momentum Instore on 4 October 2018

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With the uncertainty of Brexit, various European political changes and Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policy, it’s common to assume that economies are going to be impacted. Understanding whether there is a future for retail across the continent is critical for strategic retail decisions. 

Despite the uncertainly, we saw the return of a booming Europe last year as most countries experienced an increase in retail turnover. All European countries gained economic growth with Germany, France, Italy and Spain witnessing more growth than they have done in the past 10 years. 

European retail sector figures
With nearly one in ten of all those employed across Europe working in retail, it certainly remains big business. Great news for those planning to expand overseas.  

•    The retail sector is the second biggest in the European economy after financial services.
•    There are over 3.6 million retail companies. 
•    The sector generates 4.5% of the value added in the European economy.
•    It provides 8.6% of all jobs. 
•    European households spend up to one-third of their budgets in retail shops. 
•    In 2017, 28 EU nations saw a retail turnover increase of +1.8%, but due to currency exchange rates, the UK saw a decline of -4.2% in euros.

Retail news across Europe

The change in consumer behaviour, the development of technology and the growth of e-commerce is slowing down the rate of shopping centre developments in Europe. 

Shopping malls in Europe used to be dependent on large department stores with their highly desirable electronic and fashion brands to bring in visitors. Throughout the continent there is a demand, just like here in the UK, for ‘shopping centres’ to become ‘experience centres’ - more than just a place to shop. The introduction of new retail areas has fallen as existing shopping centres in Europe are being expanded to include retail, leisure, office space and entertainment, in particular, high quality restaurants. 

As the rest of Europe saw a fall in the development of new shopping centres, France and Spain were the exceptions. 

•    France added more than 326,000 sq m of new retail space in 2017. 
•    Last year was a record year for tourism in Spain. Their 82.4m tourists had a positive impact on shopping centre development, and as such they hold second position for development activity in 2017, with 210,000 sq m of new retail space.

Online in Europe

We remain the keenest when it comes to online shopping; this method of shopping accounted for around 17% of total retail sales in the UK last year.

Around 25% of Europeans with internet access make an online purchase at least once a week which accounted for 10% of their total sales in 2017. As online sales in Europe are expected to grow by 10% in 2018, the trend for ecommerce on the continent is on the rise.

UK online marketplace sellers have seen a sharp rise in the volume of international customers, as they take advantage of the weak pound. It has been predicted that these online sellers will generate £21.3bn by 2020. 

Is fashion going out of style?

The rise of ecommerce has not had such a big impact across Europe when it comes to fashion. Many shoppers in Europe still prefer to shop in a store to choose their clothes and shoes. 

Fashion generates the second highest turnover in physical stores with a 13.5% European-wide market share – just behind grocery stores.

•    Households in Italy, Spain and Portugal spend substantially more than the European average on clothes and shoes in physical stores.
•    Scandinavian countries spend less than the average on clothing in store.
•    A quarter of UK’s fashion is bought online.

How Momentum Instore can help

Momentum Instore use their logistical expertise and experience to deliver installation projects across Europe. 

We work closely with our network of European partners to guarantee seamless continuity and our European implementation team oversee each and every project in detail. Having a physical office and warehousing space in France means that we can manage projects seamlessly across Europe and transact in either Euros or Pounds Sterling. We’re proud to have ensured a right first-time delivery for our clients in over 30 different countries.

With Momentum Instore, your brand is in safe hands.

Learn more about our European Expansion

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