WELCOME TO THE second 2017 IREU Top500. My congratulations go to all retailers included in this year’s Index and, in particular, to the Elite retailers that top the rankings. There’s plenty of change in this year’s line-up, with Apple [IRDX RAPL], H&M [IRDX RHAM] and Zara [IRDX RZAR] now joined by Boots [IRDX RBOO], IKEA [IRDX RIKE] and Nike [IRDX RNKE]. As Sean Fleming points out in our strategic context feature, the ability to reach and then stay in the Elite category represents significant and constant progress.
Across the Index we’ve seen improvements to the way that retailers are selling and performing across the European Economic Area, plus Switzerland. It’s notable that the top category is now dominated by global brands that have created and exported their own distinctive formulas for retailing. All have strong roots in stores and enjoy close relationships with customers who often act as brand advocates. All have innovated to develop high-quality products that are relevant to their customers.
As a result, all have created a heritage that means we can’t now imagine modern urban life without these major players. They have experimented with, and embraced, changing retail formats as well as the move to digital shopping. At the same time, they have continued to focus on staying both excellent and consistent across their operations.
The theme that we’re detecting most strongly across this group of Elite retailers is that of synthesis. These retailers are bringing the customer, the product and the operations that underpin their businesses together with the values of innovation, invention and integrity.
This top category is notable for its international flavour. Only one of these retailers (Boots) hails from the UK, while the others are from different parts of Europe and the US. The Top25, however, are mostly British. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that this research started with the IRUK Top500, which analyses the performance of British brands in an exercise that goes beyond which retailer has the highest turnover, ecommerce revenues or web. It has since expanded to the larger market of Europe as we look to learn which best-practice approaches are now widely used, and which are still emerging in a fast-evolving retail market.
Throughout the pages of this report, we’re learning about what works for leading EEA retailers in our six key Performance Dimensions. We’re also looking at other factors that are bringing change to retailing on this continent, from marketplaces to Brexit.
We hope that this year’s IREU Top500 will prove a useful tool for retailers across the continent as they benchmark progress against peers, competitors and growth partners to explore options that could help to make their businesses more responsive in a world where the customer is firmly in charge. It’s work that will continue over the next 12 months. To keep up to speed with the changing world of European retail throughout the year, go to www.internetretailing.net/subscribe and select IREU from the options, or visit www.internetretailing.net/ireu
Mentioned in this piece…
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) is a Swedish multinational retail-clothing company, known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and children. H&M exists in 53 countries.
The first store was opened on the high street of Västerås by Erling Persson, in Sweden in 1947. (more…)