Priorities

ERRT’s main purpose is to coordinate, support and develop strategies to represent and defend the common interests of major European retailing businesses at the European level. ERRT 's focus is on the following four key strategic themes: 

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Creating a Single Market in Retail

 

The Single Market is a key pillar of the European Union. But while it is a reality for many sectors of the economy, a Single Market in Retail is still far from complete and retailers are, in many ways, still unable to benefit from the advantages it has to offer. This means that retailers, in turn, are unable to bring the benefits of the Single Market to European consumers. The lack of a Single Market in Retail creates a “missing link” between the EU’s Internal Market and consumers.

The Single Market in Retail must have three dimensions. Firstly, it must make it easier for retailers to open stores in other EU Member States. Secondly, it must make it easier to sell to consumers who are located in other Member States. This is particularly important in achieving a Digital Single Market. Thirdly, retailers must be enabled to source merchandise more easily from other Member States in order to help consumers benefit from the best deals from across the EU.

The trend towards online shopping exposes many of the obstacles retailers face in conducting cross-border business in their bricks-and-mortar activities. These obstacles become even more relevant in an e-commerce context. The absence of a Single Market in Retail also hampers the creation of a genuine Digital Single Market.
Achieving a Single Market in Retail is crucial to enabling European citizens to benefit from the Single Market in their every-day lives.

This is why the European Retail Round Table (ERRT) aims to foster the creation of a Single Market in Retail. ERRT’s priorities reflect the most pressing issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve this objective.

 

- ERRT Position Paper on Single Market DOWNLOAD THE PDF

Digitalisation

 

The digital age is changing the way we shop. This is causing the retail sector to undergo a significant transformation as online and offline retail operations merge into genuine multichannel propositions. As Europe’s leading retailers, ERRT member companies are at the forefront of this evolution. They are pursuing multichannel strategies combining the advantages of a store network with the advantages of online selling. This makes it increasingly difficult to distinguish between bricks-and-mortar and e-commerce players and increasingly impractical to treat the two separately.

But while e-commerce should make it easier to buy and sell goods across the Single Market, consumers continue to encounter a fragmented European retail market when shopping online. One reason for this is that retailers face many hurdles in setting up cross-border e-commerce operations, often as a result of legislation that was designed for the offline market. This hinders retailers from bringing the potential benefits of the Digital Single Market to European consumers.

Unfortunately, there is no one single measure that will overcome the problem. What is required is a comprehensive strategy to enable retailers to bring the benefits of a genuine online Single Market to European consumers.

Sustainability

 

Retailers are determined to fulfill their environmental responsibilities and promote the delivery of a more sustainable consumption and production model. Sustainability is at the heart of the modern retail sector and mainstreamed in ERRT member companies’ operations and strategies. 

As well as focusing on greening their own internal processes and procedures, ERRT member companies recognise that they are in a unique position to promote more sustainable consumption patterns through their daily contact with consumers and their partnerships with their suppliers. In recognition of their strategic role, and in response to the European Commission’s Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production, European retailers decided to set up the Retailers Environmental Action Programme (REAP) in March 2009.

REAP is a voluntary initiative aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of the retail sector and its supply chain, working towards the promotion of more sustainable products, and providing better information to consumers. Comprised of two pillars, the Retail Forum for Sustainability and the Matrix of Action Points (MAP), REAP both facilitates the sustainability dialogue with key stakeholders and stimulates action by retail members. Through REAP, retailers are leading the way in fostering industry collaboration to reduce the consumption of resources by innovating, investing in sustainability initiatives and working together to understand more about the complex challenges facing the sector.

The website of the Retail Environmental Action Programme (REAP) and the Retail Forum for Sustainability is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/industry/retail/index_en.htm

Supply Chain

 

Retailers sell hundreds, if not thousands of different products. Each of these products has its own supply chain with distinct characteristics and complexities. As in all other supply chains, food supply chains often involve a significant number of actors who are business partners.

Retail is a highly competitive market. Retailers depend on well-functioning, competitive supply chains. At the same time, retailers have an interest in maintaining good relations with their suppliers, and typically work in close partnership with them to bring the best and most innovative products to consumers.

The European Retail Round Table was an active participant in the multistakeholder discussions that were conducted in the framework of the EU High Level Forum for a better functioning of the Food Supply Chain. These discussions were sparked by a concern, shared by all actors in the food supply chain, including retailers, regarding the alleged use of unfair trading practices in relations between business partners along the food supply chain.

In November 2011, ERRT was one of 11 organisations that agreed a set of Principles of Good Practice in vertical relationships in the food supply chain. In January 2013, ERRT was one of 7 organisations to sign on to a voluntary framework for the implementation of these principles, which establishes a self-regulatory framework that is open to individual companies to adhere to. This framework, called The Supply Chain Initiative, is designed to build greater trust throughout the food supply chain by obliging signatory companies to take measures to prevent unfair trading practices (UTPs) from occurring in the first place, and provide specified dispute resolution options to ensure that situations are remedied in case UTPs do occur. Implementation of this framework is monitored by a Governance Group, of which ERRT is a member.

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The website of The Supply Chain Initiative is available here:
www.supplychaininitiative.eu

DOWNLOAD THE PDF