Beauty Sleep

The Drugstore Man

DM chairman Erich Harsh. Source: dpa
DM chairman Erich Harsch.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If Erisch Harsch’s pro-organic, anti-online gamble pays off, DM could become the dominant drugstore on German high streets.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • DM is one of Europe’s biggest drugstore chains
    • Erich Harsch, 53, has been DM chairman since 2008.
    • DM’s mail rival Schlecker, another giant drugstore chain in Europe, filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

DM is one of Germany’s most ubiquitous drug stores. Its chairman told Wirtshaftswoche why he is quitely confident his company can defend its markets from supermarkets and online retailers.

What do you expect for 2015? Will the German enthusiasm for consumption persist?

Erich Harsch: Many people who are doing well are asking themselves what they should do with their money. They don’t earn any interest on it at the bank. They seem to be willing to spend money on themselves. Hopefully, that will continue in the coming year. DM tends to be quite sheltered from the economic cycle.

How long can you keep up this pace?

In the long term, the momentum will subside, but the sales trend still remains unbroken. We will open about 170 new stores in Germany. That gives us a tailwind. But growth isn’t our goal, it’s almost a side effect. Our approach is to do what’s best for our customers. If we get that right, growth follows.

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