Traditional retail will register moderate growth in European Union states in 2015, however Romania’s 5.1 per cent growth will be among the highest, according to a GfK report on the retail sector in 32 European countries.
“Forecast on the turnover of traditional retail in 2015: the growth of e-commerce puts pressure on traditional retail formats all over Europe. That is why GfK forecasts for the latter moderate growth of 0.5 – 0.8 per cent for EU countries in 2015. Nevertheless, Romania (+5.1 per cent) and the Baltic States (+4 to +5 per cent) are once again among the frontrunners, with a growth higher than the one posted last year,” the report reads.
The share of households’ retail expenditures dropped again in 2014 at the level of EU member states. The share currently stands at almost 31 per cent (31.2 per cent in 2013 and 31.4 per cent in 2012).
The profitability of commercial spaces resumed its growth in many countries after the delays registered by many projects because of the financial crisis. Among the 32 countries analyzed, profitability grew by 0.6 per cent to EUR 4,100 per square meter. Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries are in the upper part of the rankings, while Eastern and Southern European states register the smallest values. Nevertheless, thanks to the consolidation of traditional retail in these states, the profitability of commercial spaces has also grown. This is mainly the case in Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, the GfK report points out.
The report however emphasizes that the profitability of commercial spaces is under great pressure in Northern and Southern Europe, particularly in Germany, France and United Kingdom. The main reason is the redirecting of consumer income to e-commerce in the case of many categories of products.
According to the authors of the report, although e-commerce gained more ground in Eastern Europe in recent years, its effects are yet to have a major impact. The volumes of trade on the Internet are still low. In contrast, in mature markets such as Germany subsectors such as clothing retail no longer grow like they did several years ago. At the same time, the number of commercial centres currently being planned or under construction are falling, this representing both the cause and the effect of the changes registered in these markets.
“Europe’s economy stands to gain. We are witnessing growth in internal demand, combined with improved external competitiveness, especially in some of the countries weakened by the crisis. This contributes to balanced and substantial growth from which European retail will profit. Obviously, the effects will however vary on a country-by-country basis,” GfK Retail Expert Gerold Doplbauer stated.
The values GfK used for turnover and purchasing power were calculated in Euros on the basis of the 2014 average exchange rate of the national currencies concerned (as reported by the ECB).
GfK Romania has been present on the local market since 1992, its activities consisting of two sectors – Consumer Choices and Consumer Experiences.