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Target is partnering with Germany’s Metro AG to launch a new startup accelerator programme, the METRO Target Retail Accelerator.

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Germany-based Metro Group’s IT division Metro-Nom has partnered with Berlin-based technology provider Spryker Systems to strengthen its IT location in Berlin. The partnership also aims to grow Metro’s range of services for B2B ecommerce.

First project in Romania

The first project of the partnership is a three-month trial of an online shop for small independent retailers in Romania. The online store is tailor-made and will be launched before the end of 2018. It is focused on catering to the needs of Metro’s small independent retailer customers, such as food stores and kiosks.

The online store was developed by Metro-Nom using a solution from Spryker. Commenting on the project in Romania, Metro-Nom’s chief information and solution officer, Timo Salzsieder, said, “Romania is a country with a strong trader focus, and the needs of these customers differ from those of our HoReCa customers in such areas as product range, price groups, and marketing”.

Metro and Spryker to continue partnership

Metro will continue to partner with Spryker for future projects to expand its position in Berlin and strengthen its need-based IT solutions for international, wholesale customers.

Alexander Graf, Spryker’s founder and CEO, commented, “The close collaboration in Berlin between METRO-NOM and Spryker is creating a synergy that takes wholesale excellence and technology to a new level, as well as facilitating exponential growth”.

As Germany-based Metro’s innovation hub Nx-Food partners with, the Group also announces it is searching for potential business partners in China.

Metro searches for partners in China…

After choosing to focus on its core cash-and-carry business, Metro is also reviewing the future of its operations in China. The wholesaler has recently confirmed its intention to search for partners in the Chinese market. Metro had been in talks with banks, Citi and JP Morgan, as it reviewed options. These included selling a minority stake and forming a joint venture.

…while Nx-Food incubator partners with

Nx-Food, an incubator for start-ups, has partnered with job platform The partnership aims to help start-ups with their recruitment process by suggesting prospective employees. Start-ups belonging to Nx-Food can also advertise for staff on the platform free of charge.

Fabio Ziemßen, director of food innovation and in charge of Nx-Food, said “One of the most critical moments for a start-up is the beginning of its growth phase. Without expert staff, these companies cannot produce reliably”. Nx-Food and will collaborate on new food topics to assist the start-ups as well.

Finalists selected for Accelerator programme

Metro has selected 10 tech start-ups from eight countries for its ‘Accelerator’ programme in Berlin. The countries of participants include Croatia, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, South Korea and the UK. The finalists were selected by a panel of investors, Metro executives and other partners.

The three-month programme aims to support and promote start-ups that have the potential to add value to the hospitality sector. The participants will each be provided with extensive support from experts and €120,000 in funding.

During the programme, the participants will develop and pitch their business models to potential investors. At the end, the participants will test their technological solutions with 500 restaurant owners, across five European markets. 

Sylvia Dudek, programme director of Metro Accelerator, commented, “The direct exchange with innovative start-ups enables us to change perspectives, which we expect will give new impetus to the hospitality sector. In return, we offer the teams potential access to our roughly 21 million wholesale customers and to an extensive network of contacts in the hospitality sector that start-ups hardly get anywhere else”.

Metro Group has posted its annual results, recording sales of €36.5bn for FY2017/18. The company also reported an increase in LFL sales of +0.7% compared with last year.

Wholesale LFL sales increased by +1.3%...

Metro achieved LFL sales growth in Asia (+4.0%), Eastern Europe excluding Russia (6.1%) and Germany (+0.8%). However, Metro Wholesale’s total sales declined by -1.4% to €29.5bn due to negative currency effects.

In Russia, Metro has been reviewing its marketing strategy. This has resulted in a lower customer frequency and a decline in LFL sales by -7.0%. Meanwhile in Germany, Metro attributes its growth to an increase in HoReCa customers.

Olaf Koch, chairman of the management board of Metro, commented, “Delivery is becoming a driver of growth, especially for our important HoReCa customers, who we are able bringer closer to Metro with our strong digital innovations. We are confirming the outlook for the financial year 2017/18.”

…while Real LFL sales decreased by -1.7%

After a positive period of growth in H1, Real’s LFL sales declined by -4.1% in Q4 in 2017/18. The decline was partly due to hot weather and contributed to Real’s overall LFL sales decrease of -1.7%. Real’s sales also declined by -2.3% to €7.1bn, while its online business increased by 85% to €280m.

Up for sale, Real will be noted as a discontinued operation from 30 September 2018.


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