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Consumer Goods & Retail

To serve a growing and ever demanding customer base, the consumer goods and retail industry in the UK makes a substantial contribution to the overall economy. With the e-commerce market increasing – £29 billion of internet retail sales, this sector is responding quickly to customer needs.

RAPRA recognises that technology has advanced in this sector by moving from a traditional business model of physical shops to multichannel operations combining all forms of distance selling.


Key Facts in Consumer Good & Retail Industry:

  • In 2012 UK retail sales were £310 billion
  • Retail accounts for 5% of UK Gross Value Added
  • Shops account for more than a third of consumer spending
  • The Retail sector pays £17.5 billion of the 4 largest taxes (VAT, Business Rates, National Insurance and Income Tax)
    – 9% of the UK total
  • The Retail sector is a key route to market for the other sectors, such as manufacturing
  • The value of the internet retail sales in 2012 was £29 billion, around 9% of total retail sales
  • In 2012 there were 189,280 total retail enterprises in the UK – that’s 9% of all VAT – registered businesses. Over 170,000 retailers
    are microbusinesses

Source: ONS, BRC


The advantage of this technological innovation is that it reduces the barriers to market entry and testing overseas markets, but it is simultaneously increasing the global competition for UK retailers and manufacturers.

Stimulating innovation is a key element in ranking the UK retail industry. Through its dedicated network of specialists in the R&D area, RAPRA will promote the new uses for polymers and other related materials.

Not only will we inspire UK researchers to maximise their cutting edge technology and innovation, but we will be collaborating with our members, partners and providers to ensure sustainability and growth for the consumer goods and retail sector.

If you are looking to protect and develop your R&D projects, RAPRA is open to all of your questions, needs and ideas. The simple way to start working with you is by submitting your enquiries here.