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34 2/2016 Industry Barometer EUROPE Voices from the industry SUPPLIERS DISTRIBUTORS “A key message from the UK to our European partners is that BREXIT does not signal the UK’s withdrawal as a trading partner. The UK has traded with Europe for 1,000 years and will continue to do so, with goods and services flowing in both directions to mutual benefit.“ “More than 50% of distributors have positioned themselves purely as ‘procurement specialists’ and will disappear in the long run. Due to manufacturers’ strong online presence, this business model won’t have a future long-term. By contrast, distributors who take the initiative without prior requests by industry customers will continue to have opportunities as partners of suppliers.“ “It is becoming more apparent that distributors are cutting out the importers and using us for small quantities sales. The larger sales go directly to the Far East. This is becoming an unfair playing field as we cannot go direct, margins are being driven down all the time.” “Regarding certification or sustainable actions: we’re exploring it, because we genuinely care about how we treat our resources and employees.” “The market is very dynamic, and there’s a lot of business potential.“ “The drop in sales can primarily be attributed to major customers suddenly stocking up at cheaper prices somewhere else. When you hear about the prices offered by competitors, all you can do is a facepalm.“ “We just got certified, too, because most of our customers are major international brands with strict social and environmental guidelines.“ “It seems to me that ‘sustainability’ is simply an overblown and overused buzzword in our industry.“ SUPPLIERS DISTRIBUTORS

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