2020 Flagship  Conference

"Commerce - a people business serving people"

The future of work in retail and wholesale 

in a post-COVID world 

2 DEC 2020

EuroCommerce annual flagship conference focused this year on the future of work in retail and wholesale. As Europe’s largest private-sector employer, we provide jobs to almost 30 million Europeans and make a major contribution to Europe’s economy. That economy is undergoing a major transformation through digitalisation and greening. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated those changes challenged traditional business models, and overall, changed the world of work.​


Our panellists have exchanged views and highlighted best practice and social partner initiatives to adapt to those changes. They have explained how challenges can be turned into opportunities for job creation and people development. They have also reflect on the value of social dialogue with our trade union partners, as a force for good in equipping people for the new world of work in retail and wholesale.



Panel 1 The value of constructive social partnership for a resilient retail & wholesale sector

  • Christa Schweng, President, European Economic and Social Committee

  • Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary, UNI Europa

  • Jeroen Burger, Chair of Jobs and Skills Committee, EuroCommerce. Vice-President Labour Relations, Ahold Delhaize

  • Anna Wedin, Head of Labour Law & Negotiation North, Swedish Trade Association (Svensk Handel) 

Moderation: Antje Gerstein, Managing Director Brussels Office, German Retail Federation (HDE)

Panel 2 The changing world of work in retail & wholesale

  • Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, European Commission 

  • Denis Pennel, Managing Director, World Employment Confederation

  • Cristian Marinelli, Group VP Human Resources, Groupe ADEO 

  • Susana Correia de Campos, Head of Corporate Employer Relations and Internal Social Responsibility, Jerónimo Martins

  • Joost Korte, Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

  • Tomáš Prouza, President, Confederation of Commerce and Tourism of the Czech Republic (SOCR)

Moderation: Christian Verschueren, Director-General, EuroCommerce

The presentation shown by Denis Pennel, Managing Director of the World Employment Confederation is available here.

Panel 3 | How does retail & wholesale develop and upskill its people?

  • Despina Spanou, Head of Cabinet to Margarítis Schinás,  European Commission 

  • Ana Vicente, Head of People & Leadership, SONAE

  • Steven Haarke, Director of Social Affairs, German Retail Federation (HDE)

  • Tormod Skjerve, Senior Adviser, Federation of Norwegian Enterprise (VIRKE)

  • Jacqueline Twerda, National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in the Netherlands (CNV)​

Moderation: Christel Delberghe, Director, EuroCommerce

The E-Commerce Merchant leaflet mentioned by Steven Haarke, Director of Social Affairs at the German Retail Federation (HDE) is available here.




5 March 2020 - EuroCommerce Policy Guidance Paper : The Future of Work in Retail and Wholesale


EuroCommerce has issued a policy guidance paper on the future of work in retail and wholesale. Its key elements are, first, keeping but adapting the tailored working arrangements prevalent in the retail and wholesale sector, second, seizing the challenges and opportunities of continuous education and training to up-skill and re-skill.