EuroCommerce, which represents the retail and wholesale sector in Europe, has said that the capacity of the sector to cushion the impact of inflation on consumers is limited, as it urged for help from national governments to continue these efforts.
EuroCommerce director general, Christel Delberghe, commented, "Our sector is facing a triple squeeze: consumers trading down and buying less as they struggle with an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis driven by energy costs. This makes a dangerous combination, with demands from large brand multinational suppliers for often unjustified price rises and having to meet skyrocketing energy bills.
"Retailers and wholesalers need governments to help with the cost of energy, and refrain from taking measures such as imposing arbitrary prices, additional taxes or seeking to limit margins. This would put the existence of a number of companies at risk."
EuroCommerce also highlighted that high turnover should not be confused with the sector’s profits and retailer margins, which are falling as a result of current market conditions.
An Essential Service
The body urged that national governments should treat the sector as an 'essential service' when implementing energy consumption reduction measures, in order to help businesses continue with their efforts to reduce energy consumption and to switch to alternative energy sources.
According to latest data from Eurostat, Eurozone inflation reached 10.6% in October, up from 9.9% in September and 4.1% in October 2021.
For the EU as a whole, annual inflation in October was 11.5%, up from 10.9% in September and 4.4% in the same period last year.