A study on Territorial Supply Constraints (TSCs) by the European Commission has revealed that a single market for sourcing consumer products could save consumers no less than €14 billion and offer more choices.
EuroCommerce, the body which represents the retail and wholesale sector in Europe, has welcomed the findings of the study and urged for swift action on making single market a reality in the EU.
EuroCommerce director-general, Christian Verschueren, said, “We are very grateful to the commission for following up retailers’ and wholesalers’ concerns at the fragmentation of the single market caused by large brand manufacturers simply refusing to allow them to buy their products where it makes most commercial sense.”
A single market will give retailers and wholesalers the possibility to source freely and it would bring down wholesale prices and allow consumers access to a wider range of products.
Removing TSCs would also drive innovation and investment, all to the benefit of consumers, EuroCommerce added.
Verschueren added, "We call upon the Commission now to look at action on TSCs as a core priority in supporting the retail ecosystem.
"In doing so, we would ask them to consider using a combination of tools, including stronger competition law enforcement, to make the single market in sourcing work as effectively for retail and therefore consumers, as it already does for the large manufacturing companies."
The study also confirmed previous findings from Benelux and the ECB that only a part of the price differences between countries can be explained by cost factors such as labour, logistics and taxation. As a result, consumers in one country get a much worse deal than consumers elsewhere.
The volume of trade at stake and the potential gains from allowing sourcing at EU level are so great, that the issue can no longer be ignored, EuroCommerce noted.