Many retailers on the continent risk missing the deadline for the change over to using euros, according to a survey commissioned by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. And some UK multiples with branches in the Irish republic and mainland Europe could be left with red faces on January 1, 2002 when the euro is introduced, warned Nick Gill, director of consumer products, retail & distribution practice. Gill said many companies had made the transition a low priority and did not realise how fundamental the change would be. In most countries the local currency will be phased out within eight weeks and credit card transaction will be in euros from day one. He said if companies were not well into their preparations by now they would struggle to be ready in time. Companies that are making preparations could be separated into two camps, he said. "Some are doing the bare minimum to handle currency, but others see it as a business opportunity." More far sighted companies operating in more than one country have realised they will be able to make economies of scale on a European level, he said. Instead of negotiating with suppliers on a local or national level, they will be able to negotiate at a European level, and because they are dealing in euros there will be no conversion costs or currency fluctuation risk. {{NEWS }}