Retail Attractiveness Index: Recovery of European retail markets gains breadth
Research - SEPTEMBER 7, 2023

Retail Attractiveness Index: Recovery of European retail markets gains breadth

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As early as first quarter 2023, Union Investment’s Global Retail Attractiveness Index (GRAI) showed tentative signs of recovery in individual European retail markets. This recovery gained strength and breadth in the second quarter. After the trend pointed upward in the first quarter for six of the 15 European countries included in the GRAI, 11 countries posted year-on-year gains in the second quarter. The increases were particularly significant in the United Kingdom, Poland, Spain and Italy, with increases of 9 points and 10 points. Within a year, the Retail Index for Europe has risen by almost 6 points to a good level of 113 points.

“In addition to the positive trends in the labor market and retail sales that have been evident for some time, the rise in consumer sentiment in most European countries now also gives us reason to hope that the recovery will continue across the board and that markets will return to their pre-pandemic attractiveness levels,” said Roman Müller, head of retail investments at Union Investment.

The reasons for the increase in the EU-15 index: Consumer sentiment (85 points) improved by 8 points within a year. The labor market (137 points) and retail sales (135 points) are up by 6 points and 9 points, respectively, compared with the previous year’s second quarter. By contrast, sentiment among retailers (100 points) remained virtually unchanged.

The country ranking in the EU-15 index continues to be led by Poland (131 points) and the Czech Republic (120 points), followed by Portugal (118 points). Germany and Italy also remain in the top five, each with 116 points. In Germany, the Retail Index increased by 3 points. Bringing up the rear in Europe at the end of the second quarter of 2023 are Sweden (88 points), Austria (90 points), and Denmark with 93 points. Sweden and Austria also suffered the most significant losses compared with the previous year, falling by four and five points respectively.

While the EU-15 index can improve its level, the recovery in North America and Asia is still a long time coming. The North American index in the GRAI declined 2 points and was thus 18 points below the European level at the end of the second quarter. The Retail Index in Asia Pacific also lost 2 points. The gap to the EU-15 index thus widened to 20 points. Except for Japan, which improved slightly by 2 points, all the countries in the Americas and Asia Pacific regions declined year-on-year in the second quarter. The most considerable losses, 11 points each, were suffered by Canada (88 points) and South Korea (96 points). The Canadian retail market thus remains at the lowest position in the GRAI’s global country ranking.

Union Investment’s Global Retail Attractiveness Index (GRAI) tracks the attractiveness of the retail markets of 20 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. A score of 100 index points represents an average rating. The EU-15 index includes the indices of Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, weighted by their respective populations. The North America Index includes the indices of the United States and Canada; the Asia-Pacific Index includes Japan, South Korea and Australia.


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