Retail companies in the Western European markets are facing a magnitude of challenges not seen before in terms of decreased profits and fierce price pressure. The retail industry in Sweden is not an exception. Recent years the development in many sectors has accelerated and international trends have been diffused to the Swedish market. However, in terms of maturity and price pressure it is still lagging behind the largest markets in Europe, and it is therefore valuable to consider the Western European markets and learn from their development in recent years. As a result of being the largest retail market in Europe, a special focus has in this report been given to the German market and German literature in the area.
The purpose of this report is to (1) summarise and structure recent literature about overall business trends in the retail industry, in particular those on the Western European markets, (2) summarise literature about logistics trends and challenges in the Western European retail industry, (3) give an overview of the do-it-yourself (DIY) and food sectors and their development in Europe and in particular Germany, and (4) present the German DIY retailer Hornbach and the German food discount retailer Aldi as case studies.
Except for changed demographic structures, that indirectly affect the retail industry, the most influential trends identified in the literature are internationalisation, private labelling, development of different store concepts, consolidation and vertical integration, and technology development. This report outlines these trends more in detail and relates them to the logistics challenges they represent. The report as such indicates the growing importance of logistics operations in order to tackle the trends and stay competitive.
Special attention is in this report given to the DIY and food sectors. The DIY sector has got increased importance in recent years whereas the food sector is the by far largest and most influential sector in the retail industry, and a sector from which other sectors are inspired.
In addition, two case studies at the German DIY retailer Hornbach and the German food retailer are presented in this report. The two companies represent two best practice cases within the retail industry, although they are competing with very different means and strategies.
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2010. , 58 p.