IREU 500: Footprint report launches at IRX 2015, highlighting the 800 leading European retailers

Internet Retailing this week launched the IREU Footprint Report, highlighting the 800 leading retailers selling in Europe today.

From ATU and Abercrombie & Fitch to Zlotewyprzedaze, Zoot and Zulily, the reports lists the leading traders of the 31 countries of the Economic European Area, plus Switzerland.

Following further analysis, the list will be narrowed down to the 500 that will make up the IREU Top500, to be published at the Internet Retailing Conference in October.

The retailers have been selected for inclusion following a research process that takes account of factors including their degree of web engagement, how many physical retail locations they have, and their turnover.

Researchers found that ecommerce giants such as eBay [IRDX REBY] and Amazon [IRDX RAMZ] dominated online, with 41% of all online traffic, while traders such as Carrefour [IRDX RCRF] and Tesco [IRDX RTSC] had far-reaching store networks.

The range of tracked revenues went from less than €20m to tens of billions. Of the 800 retailers listed, 20 operated stores in 10 or more countries of the area under observation.

The research also threw up insights about individual countries. While 80% of the Czech Republic’s most popular retailers originate from that countries, none of Malta or Lichtenstein’s top retailers are domestic.

“What’s interesting is the lack of pan European titans,” said Internet Retailing editor-in-chief Ian Jindal [IRDX IIJI]. “Each country seems to have its titans but there aren’t that many across Europe. It’s only the pureplays who seem to have this across Europe.”

Discussing the concept of ‘top’ness in ecommerce and multichannel retailing, Michel Koch [IRDX IMKO], ecommerce director at Maplin, said: “For me, being top in terms of omnichannel retailing is clearly understanding the way to join the dots betwen your store estate and the website. When going international, one of the things you’re measuring here, it’s how you localise your value proposition and your brand to all the individual countries you want to address, rather than sell cross-border with one website. In France, for example, people prefer to collect from collection points, and in other countries you need to adapt your payment methods. It’s how much effort are you prepared to make?”

The Internet Retailing team of editors considered the task ahead of researchers as they look to rank retailers across the six performance dimensions that are used across the IR Top500 series to measure ecommerce and multichannel performance. They are: strategy and innovation, the customer, operations and logistics, merchandising, brand and engagement, and mobile and cross-channel. The IREU Top500 will determine the leading retailers in each of these dimensions.

Writing on merchandising, Jindal said: “In our research, we will see masterful retailers at scale in their own countries and regions, niche players that resonate across borders, and multinational specialists who are able to extend generic patterns with local touches. Balancing these capabilities to determine the best retailcraft is an eye-opening task, but necessary to understand the heart of multichannel, multinational retail.”

Download the IREU 500, 2015 Footprint.

Mentioned in this piece…




eBay is a multinational business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer marketplace. (more…)




Amazon is a market-leading eTailer with global reach and a broad array of product types. (more…)




Carrefour is one of the world’s largest supermarket chains. It operates thousands of stores in Europe. (more…)




Tesco is the largest British supermarket chain. Tesco has a comprehensive multichannel offering, including mobile and tablet websites, click-and-collect options and home delivery. (more…)

Ian  Jindal

Ian Jindal


Ian Jindal is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of InternetRetailing.

IRUK and IREU Advisory Board member, 2015.

Michel  Koch

Michel Koch


E-Commerce Director at Time Inc. UK

IRUK and IREU Advisory Board member, 2016.