The Retail Market Monitoring Report is out now, published by the Commission. The report considers all economic, social, environmental and consumer impacts of the retail sector in the European Union by accounting for the linkages that the retail sector has with its upstream and downstream markets.
The main findings:
- Malfunctioning of commercial property markets;
- Limited take-off of e-commerce;
- Insufficient development of commercial communications and independent services providing information on prices and quality;
- The number of small local grocery shops fell by 3.7% between 2004 and 2009;
- Lack of rules or insufficient enforcement addressing unfair commercial practices ;
- Difficulties in their cross-border use because of varying rules;
- Negative impact of the informal economy on working conditions;
- Lack of information to consumers as regards social performance of businesses in the retail sector;
- Mismatch between the needs of businesses and the skills of employees in the retail sector;
- High energy consumption;
- High production of waste;
- Significant contribution to the volume of traffic and congestion due to transport of goods;
- Insufficient account taken of environmental costs in the supply;
- Lack of a common method to evaluate environmental impact of products and services.