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The report which brings together analysis for six industries in the coming year also expects Western consumption trends from before 2007 crisis will begin to reassert themselves as European incomes recover.

Jon Copestake, the Retail and Consumer Goods Analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit and who is presenting at the Engage Customer Retail Directors Forum on April 24 (www.engagecustomer.com) comments "A return to growth in Western Europe combined with slower growth in China and speculation over FDI investment in India could spread the strategic focus of firms more evenly."

Although China will remain among the fastest growing markets fears of a slowdown combined with a crackdown on ostentatious displays of wealth and increased regulatory scrutiny for Western companies could expose the investment drives of some firms in the coming year. Meanwhile investment in India remains hampered by ongoing concerns over multibrand foreign direct investment (FDI) legislation, especially with some opposition parties threatening to reverse concessions if they come to power in elections in May.

Western Europe will see sales volumes swing from negative figures to modest growth as some economies recover while others see the rate of decline slow. All regions are expected to register improvements in sales volume growth. The biggest swing in fortunes will take place in Western Europe but the biggest opportunity remains firmly in Asia

Mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and "phablets" will continue transform the way that consumers shop. Not only will they continue to drive e-commerce but interactive apps will influence bricks-and-mortar shopping through mobile payment systems, store check-ins and instore multimedia experiences.

Firms will also seek to squeeze utility out of every last scrap of information driving targeted product offerings and "minority report" style advertising which could risk alienating consumers made wary by recent data and surveillance scandals. To recap main findings are:

 

  • Western Europe will return to overall growth in 2014.
  • Despite concerns over China and India Asia will record the fastest regional growth
  • M-commerce will drive physical as well as virtual store strategies.
  • Data will become a decisive and divisive factor in driving consumer engagement

 

Download the full report at: http://www.eiu.com/industries2014

Charts

 

Retail sales (% volume change)

2013

2014

North America

1.5

1.9

Western Europe

-1.1

0.3

Transition economies

3.3

4.2

Asia and Australasia

4.3

4.6

Latin America

1.7

3.9

Middle East and Africa

2.1

3.1

World (60 largest markets)

2.1

2.9

Sources: Economist Intelligence Unit, Planet Retail

 

 

The five fastest growing retail markets in 2014

 

Retail sales (% volume change)

 2014

Algeria

13.8

Azerbaijan

9.2

China

9.0

Vietnam

8.2

Thailand

7.5

Sources: Economist Intelligence Unit, Planet Retail

 

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