In May 2019, GfK released a major study on retail trends, anticipating nominal turnover growth of 2.0% in 2019 for brick-and-mortar retail in the 27 EU nations.

The majority of European consumers are currently subjected to opposing forces, claims the survey. On the one hand, this consists of uncertainty over Brexit, trade conflicts and weaker growth prospects in important export markets such as China. But on the other hand, consumers have a robust labour market, higher wage increases and moderate prices for crude oil. Against this backdrop, GfK’s Geomarketing solution area evaluated various key European retail benchmarks and published the results in the free study “European retail in 2019”. The study analyses trends and developments in 32 European countries and offers a 2019 turnover prognosis, giving retailers, investors and project developers an important reference point for their decision-making.

“GfK forecasts nominal turnover growth of two percent for brick-and-mortar retail in 2019 for the EU-27 countries,” explains the study’s lead, Dr Johannes Schamel. “This growth is only slightly above the rate of inflation and comparable to the growth observed last year.”

In light of the continued dynamic growth in online retail, GfK anticipates nominal turnover growth of +2.0% for the EU-27 countries. The highest growth rates among the EU states are expected for Romania (+7.0%) and Lithuania (+5.9%).
Sinking energy prices beginning already at the end of 2018 suggest that the EU’s rate of inflation will fall. Along with continuing trade disputes with the USA, the weakening European economy at the beginning of 2019 is dampening the mood of economists. As a result, a lower 2019 inflation rate of 1.6% is expected for the European Union.

Sales area productivity: Europe- wide, there was no change to the top three nations compared to the previous year with respect to sales area productivity. The unchallenged forerunner continues to be Luxembourg (approximately 7,250€/m2), which even experienced a slight increase (+1.40%) in sales area productivity in 2018. Second and third place are occupied by Norway (approximately 6,430€/m2) and Switzerland (approximately 6,220€/m2) respectively.

Photo: Dr Johannes Schamel, Study lead. Geomarketing, GfK