EuroCommerce, the body which represents the retail and wholesale sector in Europe, has elected Juan Manuel Morales as its new president.
Morales, who succeeds Régis Degelcke, will assume his new role on 1 July 2021, and serve as president for a period of three years.
Commenting on the appointment, Degelcke said, “I believe EuroCommerce has built up further its reputation as a strong organisation representing an essential ecosystem for the European economy and a provider of a vital service every day to the people who really matter – Europe’s 450 million consumers.
“It has worked hard to underline how our sector has faced the challenges of the last 18 months, and to get across important messages about its needs, both financial and policy. All of us are looking forward to working under Juan Manuel’s leadership, whose ambition for and commitment to the industry will help EuroCommerce reach even greater heights.”
‘An Experienced Professional’
Morales brings around 30 years of experience in the consumer goods industry in retail and food and drink manufacturing in Spain, Portugal, Poland, and the Baltics.
Currently, he serves as the managing director of IFA, a leading retail group in Southern Europe.
It employs more than 130,000 people and operates 11,000 stores operated through affiliates across Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
Morales is also the vice-president of EuroCommerce’s member association ASEDAS, a member of the executive committee of the Spanish business and employers’ federation CEOE, and board member of AECOC, the Spanish GS1 association.
Before joining IFA in 2011, he held various commercial, general management, and presidential roles at Grupo Osborne, The Coca-Cola Company, and Nielsen.
He holds a degree in economics and business from the Complutense University of Madrid and an executive MBA from the IESE Business School.
Morales stated, “I am proud, therefore, and deeply honoured, to have been elected to continue and take forward the valuable work undertaken by EuroCommerce members and staff, and, above all, by my excellent predecessor Régis Degelcke, to whom I extend my heartfelt thanks.”
“I will want to focus on guiding an important organisation representing Europe’s largest private-sector employer, a driver of growth for a wide range of other ecosystems, and a linchpin of local communities. We are under massive competitive and regulatory pressure in a low-margin sector, which is often overlooked by policymakers. This is something we must, and will work to change.”
Challenges For Everyone
Morales noted that the COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges for everyone in retail and wholesale industries, particularly in the non-food sector.
“The very existence of thousands of SMEs, who represent 99% of our sector, is at risk. In addition, retail and wholesale face the dual challenge of the digital and green transformation, both of which require significant investment,” he added.