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nov 04

Imprimer ceci Article

The Outlook for European Grocery Retailing: Competition and Format Development

Introduction
European retailing still shows significant national differences.
Will these differences remain in years to come? The basic fundamental trends that draw European countries together are essentially demographic and socio-economic: growth in average income, the growing added-value services sector, low population growth, the ageing population, the reduction in the average size of households, the increasing proportion of women engaged in professional activity and men’s involvement in household tasks as well as the growth in access to motorized transport and urban growth. But, if all these factors which influence consumer’s buying behaviour are currently following similar trends, they have not developed to the same extent, nor reached the same levels in all countries, giving rise to retailing landscapes that are sometimes similar, without ever being identical.
     Other factors have influenced, and will continue to influence the development of retailing structure in each country. The substantial increase in economic integration and internationalisation of retailing companies during the 1990s also contributed to bringing European markets closer together, although the differences remain obvious. The overall strategic directions, the systems of governance and/or organizational structures of European companies are indeed more similar today than in the past, but their local deployment always varies. The development of technological innovations, especially those linked to the transmission and exchange of information has further enhanced the diffusion of innovations within Europe, but at different speeds in different countries. Furthermore, government policy on retailing benefits certain types of operations in each country, particularly in relation to the intensity and nature of the national competition and the reactions it provokes…

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