RETAIL - The German retail industry employs 2.9 million individuals who work for 410,000 companies making it the third largest industrial sector after the manufacturing industry and the skilled trades and crafts sector. Its annual turnover of more than 400,000 billion Euros is mainly earned by small and medium sized enterprises. As a result of stable consumer spending, retail revenues remained relatively constant during the world financial crisis. In 2010, retail sales showed a strong development and increased by 1.8 percent. This trend is bound to continue as consumer sentiment in 2011 is expected to remain strong. GfK GeoMarketing forecasts a two-percent increase in Germany's retail turnover for 2011.
WHOLESALE AND COMMISSION TRADE - The German wholesale sector accounts for 120,000 companies with 1.4 million employees. Furthermore, there are approximately 70,000 specialized commercial agencies active in the German market. Traditionally, the wholesale industry provides the indispensible link between production and retailing. Today, wholesale businesses have evolved into modern marketing and distribution enterprises that offer broad supply chain management and other business-to-business services. In 2010, the turnover of German wholesale companies increased by 13 percent in nominal terms to a total value of 420 billion Euros, according to preliminary figures. However, due to the world financial crisis and its effect on international trade, revenues are expected to have decreased in 2009.
DISTANCE SELLING - In 2010, turnover of distance selling businesses accounted for 32.4 billion Euros, which led to an annual growth of 7 percent. Especially E-commerce is constantly expanding its market share. In 2010, online purchases amounted to 23.7 billion Euros. Over the last five years, E-commerce experienced growth rates of more than 10 percent in average. Sixty six percent of all distance purchases were performed online, while 44 percent were ordered via traditional distance sales channels like mail order and teleshopping. Emerging trends are mobile commerce and social media.