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The global recession and falling demand have hit the consumer goods sector harder than other industries. Except in China and a handful of smaller economies, retail sales fell dramatically in 2009 throughout the Americas, Europe and most of Asia. According to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey of the sales, marketing and customer service practices of consumer goods companies, respondents cite the global economic downturn as the biggest issue facing their industry. The economy is one of several factors - including changing consumer needs, emerging new competitors and evolving requirements among retailers and distributors - that is beyond the control of consumer goods companies.
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