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    Profile of registrant

Independent Retail Europe (formerly UGAL - Union of Groups of Independent Retailers of Europe)

Identification number in the register: 034546859-02
Registration date: 25/06/2008 10:44:05

The information on this entity was last modified on: 04/02/2015 15:26:05
The date of the last annual update was: 04/02/2015 15:26:05
Next update due latest on: 04/02/2017

    Registrant : Organisation or self-employed individual

Independent Retail Europe (formerly UGAL - Union of Groups of Independent Retailers of Europe)

a.i.s.b.l. - Association internationale sans but lucratif

    Section of registration

II - In-house lobbyists and trade/business/professional associations

Trade and business associations

    Contact details

Avenue des Gaulois, 3
P.O. box: 3
Bruxelles 1040

(+32)2 732 46 60

    Person with legal responsibility

Ms  Else GROEN

Directeur Général

    Person in charge of EU relations

Ms  Else GROEN

Directeur Général

    Goals / remit

Established in 1963, Independent Retail Europe (formerly UGAL – the Union of groups of independent retailers of Europe) is the European association that acts as an umbrella organisation for the main groups of independent retailers in the food and non-food sectors.

Independent Retail Europe represents retail groups characterised by the provision of a support network to independent SME retail entrepreneurs; joint purchasing of goods and services to attain efficiencies and economies of scale, as well as respect for the independent character of the individual retailer.

Our members are groups of independent retailers, associations representing them as well as wider service organizations built to support independent retailers.

Independent Retail Europe represents over 363,000 independent retailers, who manage more than 556,000 sales outlets. This represents a total employment of more than 5,500,000 persons.

  • European
  • national

    Specific activities covered by the Register

Independent Retail Europe’s priorities are based on the specific needs of its members. In turn, these are defined by the special business model of independent retailers working in a group structure.

Vertical and horizontal competition rules
Certain types of agreements are indispensible to the functioning of groups of independent retailers. They have many pro-competitive effects, which undoubtedly benefit consumers. Agreements can include information exchanges, purchasing agreements, agreements on commercialisation and standardisation agreements. These agreements are of a vertical nature, whereby the central organisation acts at a different economic level of the chain compared to the independent retailers. Meanwhile, on a horizontal level, independent retailers of the same group always remain competitors. Due to this dual structure, agreements between groups of independent retailers are subject to the vertical competition Regulation and guidelines but can, depending upon the views of national competition authorities, be subject to horizontal competition guidelines as well. Independent Retail Europe seeks to heighten competition and consumer benefit by creating an optimal playing field for its members, fully in line with the vertical and horizontal competition rules.

Product safety
Members of Independent Retail Europe are deeply committed to ensuring that only safe products are on the market. This is essential for their relationships with customers and their reputation. In order to achieve clear, understandable rules that can easily be implemented and do not constitute an unnecessary burden on SME retailers, Independent Retail Europe is working on the clarification of the obligations of economic actors – especially of distributors.

Food safety
Independent Retail Europe has a number of members active in food retail. Our members believe that it is essential to ensure safe supply chains and high levels of consumer welfare. As such we are active on all food safety issues, particularly with regard to distributors obligations.

One way in which independent/SME retail entrepreneurs can reach their full potential whilst remaining independent is by joining a group of independent retailers. Therefore, Independent Retail Europe works on achieving political recognition for the group business model for independent/SME retail, as a promoter of entrepreneurship and sustainable growth.

European Retail Action Plan
In its European Retail Action Plan, the European Commission acknowledges the importance of groups of independent retailers in the EU retail market. Independent Retail Europe is working to ensure that when it is implemented, the actions contained in the action plan benefit, and reflect the needs of, groups of independent retailers.

Business to business trading practices
Independent Retail Europe members are the final link in the supply chain to consumers and will be affected by the policy outcomes of discussions related to supply chain behaviour. Independent Retail Europe is a founding organisation of the Supply Chain Initiative, a voluntary framework that seeks to ensure fair behaviour between different sectors in the food supply chain and sets down obligations (such as training requirements, information requirements and dispute resolution requirements) for those who sign up to it.

SME policy
Independent Retail Europe member groups are composed of, or provide services to, independent SME retailers. Therefore, it is one of Independent Retail Europe’s priorities to be involved in SME policy discussions in order to ensure that the interests of independent SME retailers are taken into consideration.

Circular economy
Retailers work with many linked sectors and complex supply chains. As such we follow EU policy on the circular economy, waste, energy and resource efficiency, etc.


Member of the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain

Member of the Advisory Group on the Food Chain and Animal and Plant Health




    Number of persons involved in the activities described in the box above

100%: 5  



    Persons accredited for access to European Parliament premises

First name Surname Start Date End Date
Else GROEN 05/06/2015 03/06/2016

    Fields of interest

  • Competition
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Economic and Financial Affairs
  • Employment and Social Affairs
  • Enterprise
  • Environment
  • Food Safety
  • General and Institutional Affairs
  • Information Society
  • Internal Market
  • Taxation

    Membership and affiliation

    Financial data

01/2014  -  12/2014

675,800 €

No funding received from the EU institutions during the last closed financial year.

L'entièreté du montant de chaque budget annuel étant affectée à l'objet social de l'association, ce montant est à considérer comme représentant les coûts liés aux activités de représentation d'intérêts.

Budget 2014 : 675.800 €
Les revenus proviennent exclusivement des cotisations des membres.

    Code of conduct

By its registration the organisation has signed the Transparency Register Code of Conduct.