Rewe's discount banner, Penny, exits Bulgaria as well as announcing a new
customer engagement initiative in Germany and developments in private label.
Penny to withdraw from Bulgaria
Penny, which currently operates in 6 European countries outside of Germany,
has announced it will exit Bulgaria to focus on its operations in Austria, Czech
Republic, Hungary, Italy and Romania. Billa, the full range international banner
for Rewe, will continue to operate its 92 stores in Bulgaria. Where possible, it
will take over some of the current 49 Penny outlets in the country. The move
comes as Rewe struggles to grow Penny sales and looks to give more focus to
Germany and its other markets, particularly Italy, where Penny is performing
Penny engages customers through 'local' initiative
Rewe has announced it will rename all its Penny Discount stores in Germany
with unique names, chosen by its customers. Over a two week period, shoppers
will be able to vote for a store name each time they visit Penny. This new
initiative aims to make customers feel more involved and connected with their
local store, something that is becoming increasingly important in Germany, and
is demonstrated through numerous local products in store. Edeka, Rewe's largest
competitor, already has different names for its stores, as they are each named
after the individual owner. Rewe initially trialled this initiative in 2014, in
Hamburg, renaming all 88 stores in the city with names voted for by shoppers,
and due to the customer response, are rolling this out across the Penny estate.
Private label development
Penny has introduced a new design for its 'Orto Mio' private label brand. The
redesign uses engaging and colourful new packaging to better reflect what the
product stands for. The antipasti range has 45+ skus and the new packaging has
been illustrated to reflect the fun and sociable nature of the product type.
Pictures of real food are displayed, alongside witty captions such as 'oh la la
olives' and 'we are the champignons.' By engaging customers with its brand in an
innovative way, Rewe is building on its strong private label foundation.