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Retail trade in Europe - Statistics and Facts

The largest and most important retail market in Europe in terms of turnover was the German market, with a value of roughly 560 billion euros in 2017. Other important markets were France (roughly 469 billion euros), the United Kingdom (approximately 464 billion euros), and Italy (approximately 323 billion euros). These are however not the markets experiencing the largest growth. Central and Eastern Europe's growth figures are considerably higher than those in Western Europe. In 2018, the Bulgarian market saw the highest turnover growth, at 7.7 percent, followed by the Czech Republic (7.2 percent) and Romania (7.1 percent). By comparison, the turnover decreased by over three percent in Swedish brick-and-mortar stores.

The most valuable retail brand in Europe in 2018 was IKEA, with a brand value of roughly 24.4 billion euros, followed by Nestlé (approximately 19.4 billion euros). Nestlé also tops the list of the leading consumer goods companies in Europe, with a market capitalization of 246 billion euros in 2018. Based on turnover however, the German company Schwarz was the leading retailer in Europe in 2018, with 96 billion euros. Aldi (73 billion euros) and Carrefour (62 billion euros) were the second and third-largest retailers that year.

The leading franchise in Europe in 2019 is U.S.'s 7-Eleven, with 60,000 units. 7-Eleven is followed by Subway (44,819 units) and McDonald's (36,500 units). The largest non-US company is the Japanese Kumon (25,840 units). In comparison, Spar, the leading Benelux franchise, only had 12,176 units in 2018. 254 of these Spar supermarkets were located in its country of origin, the Netherlands.

The highest number of shopping centers in Europe could be found in the United Kingdom, at over 1,500. France counted nearly as many shopping centers (1,253). By comparison, Malta had only ten shopping centers, and Luxembourg had 21. The United Kingdom also had the largest number of factory outlet centers in Europe, after Turkey. In 2017, there were nearly 50 outlet centers in the Turkish Republic. In 2018, Norway had the highest gross leasable shopping area per 1,000 inhabitants, followed by Luxembourg.

Although the majority of retail transactions still take place offline, online retail gained more and more prominence over the last few years. In 2017, the e-commerce revenue in Europe was valued at approximately 337 million U.S. dollars, and according to a recent Statista forecast this is expected to strongly increase in the next five years, to approximately 515 million U.S. dollars. Whereas now roughly 566 million consumers purchase goods online, by 2023 this number is expected to grow to just over 640 million.

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Retail trade in the Netherlands

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Retail stores


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