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.