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