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Schwarz Group released its financial year 2018/19 results, reporting a strong sales increase of 7.4% to €104.3bn. The growth was driven by Lidl and the group’s international operations. Lidl’s turnover increased by 8.8% to €81.2bn while Kaufland’s sales grew by 1.6% to €22.6bn. Tönsmeier Group, the waste disposal company acquired in 2018, generated sales of €500m.

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We visited Kaufland stores in Krakow, Poland, to look at its latest developments in the country. We were impressed by the initiatives it was taking to create a more relevant range for shoppers and to help it differentiate itself from the competition.

1. Retailer partnering with start-ups to develop new products

Kaufland allocated a gondola-end for new product developments from several start-up companies. This is part of its incubator Startup initiative. It illustrates the retailer’s keenness to support new product developments by helping small suppliers launch products in the market. Keeping in line with its sustainability initiatives, the range included eco-friendly laundry detergent, Sansin, bamboo toothbrushes and reusable sanitary products by Loffme.

Source: IGD Research

2. Extending private label lines

The Bevola private label began as a personal care-focused range, but now extends into the baby category. Kaufland has also rolled out standard-priced own brand Favourites in pet care and extended healthy range Take-it veggie and K-free to compete with brands.Source: IGD Research

3. Premiumising its range

The retailer is using both ranging and category management initiatives to improve shoppers’ perception of the quality of its range. One way it is doing this is with a premium dry-aged meat offer at the fresh meat counter. It has also refreshed the whisky category with an aisle design that illustrates a premium ‘look and feel’. It does so by using a black glossy look and digital screens to attract and engage shoppers around brand selection.

Source: IGD Research

4. Support the main shop mission with a wider non-food offer

There is a strategic move to enhance its range to become more of a one-stop shop retailer. It is helping shoppers achieve more from their shopping missions by adding relevant non-food categories, such as eye ware, magazines and electronic accessories. This indicates the retailer’s interest in adding new categories to attract further shopper spending.Source: IGD Research

5. Showcasing the food-to-go and ready meal offer

Placing the food-to-go category near the front of the store means it is one of the first packaged food ranges shoppers come across. Relatively high footfall in this section will help raise awareness of the category. A wide and strong assortment of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meals, with local and international dishes, are available.Source: IGD Research

6. Helping shoppers eat and live healthily

The Aleja Zdrowa ‘Healthy Aisle’ and fitness accessories sections are located near each other. Kaufland offers shoppers several free from and organic foods alongside sport supplementary products and apparel. By bringing the ranges in close proximity to each other, it is positioning itself as a health-focused retailer.Source: IGD Research

Subscribers wanting to find out more about retailer’s strategic priorities can look at Strategic outlook for Kaufland.

Kaufland has appointed Richard Umbers as its new CEO.

New CEO at Kaufland

Umbers, who left Australian department store chain Myer 12 months ago as CEO, will be based at Kaufland’s headquarters in Germany. Umbers has previously held management roles at Woolworths Group and was Managing Director at Aldi North West UK & Republic of Ireland.

Preparation to launch in Australia

While Umbers will not be directly involved in Kaufland’s launch into Australia, he will lead international buying and sourcing operations. Kaufland received planning permission for three stores last month and further investment has been secured.

Kaufland’s latest developments in the first quarter of 2019 include the appointment of a new interim CEO, rumours it could purchase 100 Real hypermarkets and in Romania a new loyalty programme and cosmetics shop-in-shop concept.

Kaufland has new interim CEO

Kaufland’s parent company, Schwarz Group, selected Klaus Gehrig as a temporary CEO following the departure of Patrick Kaudewitz, who has led it since 2015. Gehrig will lead Kaufland until a permanent replacement is selected.

Gehrig states interest in Metro’s Real hypermarkets

In March 2019, Gehrig said Schwarz Group could acquire around 100 out of the 280-plus Real hypermarkets from Metro. He stressed store locations will be the key factor to the number of stores eventually acquired. The acquisition will further solidify Kaufland’s position as the leading hypermarket operator in Germany.

Kaufland Romania launches a loyalty programme

The retailer launched its first loyalty programme and gives shoppers the option of a physical card and/or a mobile app. Members are currently rewarded with discounts and redeemable points across the whole network. Later in 2019, the programme will offer members personalised promotions, and they will be able to combine them with on-shelf discounts.

Source: IGD Research, Kaufland

Kaufland adds cosmetics shop-in-shop to flagship store in Romania

In February 2019, Kaufland added an area that only sells cosmetics to its flagship store in Bucharest. It is named K Beauty, it has its own checkout till, and has 13 sq. m. of space that offers 800 SKUs of cosmetics and perfume brands that include L'Oréal and Calvin Klein. It also provides shoppers with services like a make-up consultant for a more personalised offer.

Source: Kaufland

Subscribers can read more about Kaufland’s strategic outlook in our insight presentation.


An essential summary of trading priorities, latest developments, and other key commercial insights for Kaufland.
This guide to Germany includes a summary of the country’s economic outlook, an overview of the grocery retail market, insight on the country’s leading retailers and the short-term developments that will drive the market.
This in-depth guide to Romania explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.
View all presentations

Key presentations

Kaufland is building a more relevant offer for shoppers, which differentiates it from rivals, while maintaining control of costs and driving efficiency. In this report we look at its key strategic aims and the strategies being rolled out in its top four markets.

This in-depth guide to Germany explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.

An essential summary of trading priorities, latest developments, and other key commercial insights for Kaufland.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Retail Analysis the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

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