Supermarket Losses

The Real Problem at Retailer Metro

Real supermarket Metro push cart store Source Frank Reinhold WirtschaftsWoche 47620914
Real is reorganizing to attract more customers.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If Metro Group succeeds in restructuring Germany’s largest retailer, its results and share price might rise.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Metro Group is Germany’s largest retail group and the fourth-biggest in Europe, operating 2,200 stores in 31 countries.
    • Its portfolio includes grocery chain Real, wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry and consumer electronics retailer Media Markt.
    • Sales in the nine months to June were €45 billion, or $49 billion, down 1.2 percent from the same period the preceding fiscal year.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Ever since Olaf Koch became chief executive of Germany’s largest retail group, Metro, in 2012, he has been tasked with restructuring the company’s outlets, including electronics retailers Media Markt and Saturn and wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry.

Discount grocer Real, the fifth-biggest supermarket chain in Germany with 300 stores is a big problem child.

Real revamped its stores in 2013 but some suppliers have recently halted deliveries and the chain is on a collision course with its 37,000 employees.

Metro, which agreed in June to sell its department stores Kaufhof to a Canadian rival, Hudson’s Bay, for €2.8 billion, or $3.1 billion, is under pressure to improve results at underperforming operations and expand online sales.

After the sale of Kaufhof, Real will become the biggest focus of Mr. Koch and his management team.

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