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As Edeka and Rewe announce initiatives in their home market, we round up news from the retailers.

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Germany-based Rewe Group announced revenues rose 4.7% to €61.2bn. Its performance was driven by growth both in its home market, where revenues increased by 4.5%, and internationally, where they rose by 5.2%.

“REWE Group is on a healthy growth trajectory, both nationally and internationally. In 2018, we once again profited from our huge investments made in previous years in the modernisation and expansion of our stores and in strengthening our Travel and Tourism division, both in Germany and in other European countries."

Independent food retail drives growth

Rewe said that while its performance was positive across its business units, the independent food retail business ‘was a driver of the positive overall development’. The group said its retailers had increased sales by 9.1% in 2018, which followed growth of 8.5% in 2017. The figures were aided by a 5.1% increase in the number of stores of Rewe retailer in Germany, which reached 1,718 at the end of 2018.

Discussing the performance, Rewe Group’s chief executive, Lionel Souque, noted the importance of its retailers ‘being local enterprises with roots in their respective towns and communities, high customer proximity, regional and local product ranges, as well as individual service.’ The continued success of its operating model is encouraging Rewe to maintain its focus on its independent retailers and its expansion within the area.

Supermarkets performing well in Germany and internationally

Rewe said its national full-range stores, which includes the Rewe, Rewe Center and Rewe to Go banners, amongst others, had achieved revenue growth of 12.3%, to €23.8bn, in 2018. It noted the success of its Rewe 2020 store concept and its focus on providing shoppers with ‘freshness, regionality, healthy diets, variety, innovation and expert assistance’.

Outside of Germany, its supermarkets and drugstores saw revenue growth of 6.2%, to €9.4bn. In Austria it saw revenues increase by 1.7% to €6.4bn, while in Central and Eastern Europe revenues rose by 17%. The strong growth was aided by the consolidation of the Lithuania-based Iki business for the first time and the performance of its Czech Republic-based operations, which grew revenues by 12%, to €1.1bn.

Discount remains in positive position

In Germany Rewe’s Penny discount format continued to perform positively, with revenues rising by 3.1% to €7.6bn from its 2,182 stores. Rewe said the growth was driven by ‘the consistent positioning of Penny as a neighbourhood discounter, the expansion of the organic and convenience ranges, as well as the introduction of Payback’.

Outside of its home market, Rewe said Penny had enjoyed revenue growth of 7.5%, taking its sales to €4.8bn. With its store numbers rising by 2.7%, to 1,505, the assumption is that like-for-like growth was strong across its various geographies. Rewe highlighted Romania, where revenues rose by 14.6%, and Austria, where they were up by 2.5%.

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Germany-based Rewe has appointed Jan-Peer Brenneke as its chief executive of its International division.

Brenneke to strengthen international business

Rewe said Brenneke will focus on strengthening and developing products for Austria, for private labels, as well as Penny outside of Germany and Billa across the Central and Eastern European region. Brenneke will report into Rewe Group’s deputy chairman, Jan Kunath. Brenneke was Rewe’s managing director of group buying before this new appointment.

Following Brenneke’s appointment, Marcel Haraszti, who is divisional board member of Trade International, will take on the additional responsibility of the technical department, as well as strategy and marketing of private labels in Austria. Marcel Weber, meanwhile, will replace Brenneke as Rewe Group’s managing director of buying. All the appointments will take effect from 1 April.

Appointment aimed at efficiency too

Commenting on the appointment, Kunath said: “In addition to further strengthening the goods business for the full Austrian assortment and for our international organisation, this appointment will become increasingly important in coordinating commodity issues. The AG Board will also become more efficient and more professional in the integration of commodity issues between our organisations in Germany and internationally.”

Eurelec Trading, the buying alliance between Germany-based Rewe and France-based Leclerc, has appointed a new managing director, Jérémie Vilain. Vilain will take on the role effective August 2019.

New appointment well-known to both retailers

Vilain has previously worked for both Rewe, where he led both the business insights and customer loyalty divisions, and Leclerc, where he headed up the strategy department. Rewe, announcing the appointment, noted that his experience at both companies and in France and Germany would help to ‘further increase the impact’ of Eurelec Trading.

Vilain to be joined by new vice president

Simultaneously with his appointment, Rewe said that Vilain will be joined by Jochen Baab, who is managing director of Rewe Group Buying, as vice president. Rewe said the new appointments would help Eurelec as it looks to build its strategic focus and ‘enter into negotiations with other suppliers and further promote the strategic partnership between the two [organisations]’.

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Key presentation

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 Rewe Group.

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