Germany: small formats, vegan counters, growth at Norma

Date : 15 April 2015

As Edeka trials vegan counters in 50 stores, Globus and Albert Heijn investigate opportunities for convenience formats and discounter chain Norma reports healthy sales growth in 2014, we round up the news from the country.

Norma sees sales rise 3.4% in Germany

Discounter Norma has announced that sales in Germany rose 3.4% to €3.1 billion in 2014. The retailer said that it had benefited from its investment in its stores and its distribution centres, which had enabled it to better target shoppers in different regions. The development, which has seen it invest €30 million annually recently, is helping it to differentiate from discount rivals and win within the channel.

Globus opens first small format store

Hypermarket operator Globus has opened its first small format store under the ‘Fridel Markt & Restaurant’ banner in Saarbrücken. The retailer said that the store combines a convenience store offer in conjunction with food-for-now and food-for-later ranges and is integrated into its online store. Globus said that the range will focus on locally-produced and fresh products and a targeted range that meets the needs of local shoppers. Beyond this, though, the retailer did not release any other details, suggesting it is a trial that it will be aiming to learn from in the short to medium term.

Albert Heijn to Go expansion back on the agenda after slow start

In an interview with RP Online, Mathias Gehle, Albert Heijn’s MD for Germany, has said that the Ahold-owned Albert Heijn to Go chain is looking to add new stores in Germany in 2015 and will be looking to target convenient locations such as petrol stations, hospitals and universities. The first store set to be opened as part of the new expansion strategy was in Mönchengladbach Train Station, a station that Gehle said enjoys visits from nearly 27,000 people daily. However, Gehle said that the range would be adapted and designed specifically for local shoppers, a step that will mean it will differ greatly from that available in other Albert Heijn to Go stores in Germany.

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Edeka to trail vegan counters

With veganism a growing choice for shoppers in Germany, Edeka has announced that it is set to trial the addition of ‘Vegithek’ counters in 50 stores. The counters, which will be launched with the tagline ‘Vegetarian, Vegan, Fresh’, will be fully serviced and provide a wide range of vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes products. Veganism has become an increasingly important trend in Germany, with vegan restaurants and a chain of supermarkets that stock only vegan products opening in recent years. It is against this backdrop that Edeka is adding the counters, aiming to attract new shoppers who would not normally buy at its stores and grow basket size by providing new alternatives.