To beat their personal record or simply follow a predefined pace, marathon runners sometimes resort to the use of a pacer, a person whose sole purpose is to set the pace for other runners. Can the pacer become better than the champion he helps? Hard to imagine. Yet this is what could happen in the European retail market.
The historical leadership of the European retail industry is shared between France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain. Leading, without a pacer, the sustained pace of their growth for years, even more since the advent of e-commerce in the 2000s, they could see Poland surpass them.
Poland is endowed with solid economic conditions, notably driven by one sector: retail.
On the economic scene, Poland has serious assets to become the new pacer of Europe's retail sector. Let us try to understand why.
Poland, a dynamic economy driven by offline and online retail
The Polish economy is growing faster than expected, with GDP growth of 4.6% (against 3.2% expected)—twice the EU average. One of the factors was the 4.8% increase in household consumption in 2017.
In Central Europe, Poland is one of the most promising growth markets for retail players. The retail market in Western Europe is now mature, with an estimated growth rate of 0.3%. The retail market in Poland is still growing, a sign that demand for the construction of commercial areas is on the rise*. A point of differentiation compared to Western markets, the rate of technological equipment is lower than the average of European countries, which suggests strong development potential.
According to the Gemius report on e-commerce in Poland, 54% of Internet users in Poland have already made online purchases in 2017, amounting to 9 billion euros. This figure is expected to rise gradually until 2020, reaching 17 billion euros.
This rapprochement between the digital and offline dimensions, also referred to as phygital, has repercussions on the habits of Polish retail players, putting in motion "multi-channel" strategies, coveted by their European neighbors. This influences the habits of consumers who have recourse to new modes of consumption such as click & collect, etc....
If you want to know more about the market, I invite you to watch this video by Renata Kusznierska, Partner, Head of Retail Agency, Cushman & Wakefield:
Poland, a laboratory for new retail trends
It is useful to call upon the oracle of Delphi to see into the future of retail. Parent technologies are clearly identified today by analysts as the foundation of future retail trends. There are three of them: artificial intelligence, IoT and blockchain.
Poland is a laboratory of ideas: "machine learning" and artificial intelligence are used in the optimization and automation of purchasing, "same day delivery" services are becoming more and more widespread, A-commerce is developing slowly ...so many new uses that are boosting the retail market and opening up new growth opportunities.
Thanks to this fertile ground, Poland is both a test market for players like Checkpoint, which delivers EAS and RFID solutions, and for retailers wishing to test new store concepts that are increasingly experiential and connected!
If you want to be convinced, watch this video to explore the lessons of the Kongres Poland & CEE Retail Summit 2017:
As a player in shrinkage, merchandise visibility and textile labelling solutions, we recently announced the opening of a subsidiary in Poland to support our ambitions in Eastern and Central Europe. It is a challenge that is close to our hearts and that I have enjoyed explaining to you through this forum. Let's talk about it!
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