All customers in Greater Montreal can now benefit from Metro’s online grocery shopping

Montreal, CANADA, 2017-Oct-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Metro’s online grocery shopping is now being offered to all customers in Greater Montreal, from Vaudreuil to Repentigny, and from Blainville to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, just one year after being launched. Serving close to 1.7 million homes spread over 64 municipalities, it will allow nearly 4 million consumers to benefit from this service with the guaranteed freshness promise.

“We are pleased to now offer online grocery shopping to all consumers in the Greater Montreal area. The last months have allowed us to confirm the quality of our service, since 98% of existing users are satisfied with the freshness of the food delivered’’ said Marc Giroux, Senior Vice President, Metro.

To guarantee freshness, employees dedicated to online grocery shopping were trained to select the freshest in-store products, like customers would choose themselves. The products selected are then kept in-store in a dedicated Tri-ZonesTM area: temperate, refrigerated and frozen zones. The freshness of the products is thus preserved and guaranteed, from shelf until they are collected at the store or delivered to home, delivery trucks being equipped with the same process.

“Metro has developed a simple and personalized digital platform. In addition, the members of metro&moi loyalty program save even more time because they can add the products that they buy frequently to their cart. They can also use their personalized coupons as well as their rewards”, pointed out Gino Plevano, Vice President, Digital Strategy and Online Shopping, Metro.

Five Metro Plus stores are dedicated to preparing digital orders: Ste-Rose (North Shore), Candiac (South Shore), Kirkland, Pie IX/Jean-Talon and LaSalle (Montreal). Consumers who do their grocery shopping online can pick up their purchases in one of those stores or have it delivered according to the radius being served by each store.

First launched in Montreal in October of 2016 and recently made available in the Quebec City region, the service will continue to be deployed and will serve 60% of Quebec’s population by the end of the year. Online grocery shopping, like the partnership with MissFresh, is part of the company’s overall digital strategy which is designed to position Metro as the retailer offering the food experience best suited to consumers’ needs and behaviours. The metro&moi loyalty program and all of its features are built into the online offerings. For more information, visit metro.ca.

Metro inc.
With annual sales of over $12 billion, METRO INC. (TSX: MRU), founded in 1947, is the only major Canadian food distribution compan

-30-

For further information:

Information:
Yanik Deschênes
YPR
438 390-8244
yanik@yprcanada.com

Stores:
Metro Plus Ste-Rose
1207, boul. Curé-Labelle
Laval, Quebec H7L 3A4

Metro Plus Candiac
50, boul. Montcalm Nord
Candiac, Quebec J5R 3L8

Metro Plus Kirkland
3801, boul. St-Charles Kirkland
Montréal, Quebec H9H 4M4

Metro Plus Pie IX/Jean-Talon
4290, rue Jean-Talon Est
Montréal, Quebec H1S 1J7

Metro Plus LaSalle
1880, av. Dollard
Montréal, Quebec H8N 3G5

SOURCE: Metro Inc.

METRO announces $400-million investment to continue its growth and expansion in the Ontario market

Montreal, 2017-Oct-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO Inc. (TSX: MRU) announced today (October 11, 2017) a projected $400-million investment over 6 years in its Ontario distribution network. The company will modernize its operations in Toronto between 2018 and 2023 by building a new fresh distribution facility and a new frozen distribution facility—both of which will leverage technological improvements like automation.

“This investment will enable METRO to continue its growth and expansion in the Ontario market,” says Eric R. La Flèche, President and Chief Executive Officer, METRO Inc. “With a new and modernized supply chain infrastructure, we will be even more responsive to the needs of our customers.”

METRO’s existing distribution network in Toronto was built for the most part more than 50 years ago and no longer meets the evolving needs of the business.

“The new distribution centres will provide improved product assortment and selection accuracy as well as more flexibility which will allow us to improve service to our store network and customers,” states Carmen Fortino, Executive Vice President and Metro Ontario Division Head. “In addition, they will feature state-of-the-art technology to enhance efficiency.”

METRO currently operates six distribution centres in Ontario. Four centres are located in Toronto and two in Ottawa. Together, they provide employment to over 1,500 employees. METRO’s decision to modernize and automate a part of its distribution network will result in an anticipated loss of approximately 180 full-time and 100 part-time positions starting in 2021.

METRO acknowledges the impact its decision will have on these employees and their families.

“Working with our employees and our union, we will provide those who will be impacted by this decision with a range of transition measures to support them throughout the process,” says Fortino. “Fortunately, we have some time to plan the transition.”

METRO Inc.

With annual sales of $12.8 billion and over 65,000 employees, METRO INC. is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical distribution in Québec and Ontario, where it operates a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.
Forward-looking information

We have used, throughout this press release, different statements that could, under the regulations issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators, be construed as being forward-looking information. In general, any statement contained herein, which does not constitute a historical fact, may be deemed a forward-looking statement. The use of future and conditional tenses are generally indicative of forward-looking statements. Expressions such as “projected”, “will”, “continue” and other similar expressions are generally indicative of forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements do not provide any guarantees as to the future performance of the Corporation, the projected investment or the outcome of such projected investment and are subject to potential risks, known and unknown, as well as uncertainties that could cause the outcome to differ significantly. An economic slowdown or recession, or the arrival of a new competitor, are examples of risks described under the “Risk Management” section of the 2016 Annual Report which could have an impact on these statements. We believe these statements to be reasonable and pertinent as at the date of publication of this press release and represent our expectations. The Corporation does not intend to update any forward-looking statement contained herein, except as required by applicable law.

For further information:
Marie-Claude Bacon
Senior Director, Corporate Affairs Department
(514) 643-1086
mbacon@metro.ca

Source: METRO INC.

METRO enters ready-to-cook meals market; will acquire majority interest in MissFresh Inc.

Montreal, 2017-Aug-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO INC. (TSX: MRU) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest in MissFresh Inc., a Montreal company specializing in the delivery of ready-to-cook meals. Ever-responsive to industry trends, METRO is thereby positioning itself in a growing market: the online sale of ready-to-cook meals. MissFresh’s three cofounders will retain 30% of the capital and continue to take an active part in the company’s management with the existing team.

“We are pleased to partner with the three founders of MissFresh, dynamic entrepreneurs who have developed a promising concept that is already popular with consumers.”, said François Thibault, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, METRO. “As an alternative solution to healthy eating that is easy to prepare and delivered to your door, MissFresh offers products that will be complementary to what we have in store, which will help us to better meet the needs of consumers.”

“We are thrilled to partner with METRO, a leading Canadian food distribution company, which will enable MissFresh to accelerate its growth and development in Canada.”, said Marie-Eve Prevost, cofounder of MissFresh.

Founded in Montreal in 2015 by Marie-Eve Prevost, Bernard Prevost, and Ritter Huang, three passionate entrepreneurs, MissFresh is a Canadian company that meets a growing demand from families and professionals who want to eat healthy and balanced foods, but who have little time for shopping and preparing meals.

METRO
With annual sales of over $12 billion, METRO INC. (TSX: MRU), founded in 1947, is the only major Canadian food distribution company to have its head office in Quebec. Along with its affiliates and franchisees, METRO INC. employs in Quebec and Ontario over 65,000 people, whose mission is to exceed their customers’ expectations every day to earn their-long term loyalty. METRO INC. operates a network of almost 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

Become one of our Facebook fans www.facebook.com/metromonepicier
Visit metro.ca

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
We have used, throughout this press release, different statements that could, under the regulations issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators, be construed as being forward-looking information. In general, any statement contained herein, which does not constitute a historical fact, may be deemed a forward-looking statement. The use of future and conditional tenses are generally indicative of forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements do not provide any guarantees as to the future performance of the Corporation or the outcome of the transaction and are subject to potential risks, known and unknown, as well as uncertainties that could cause the outcome to differ significantly. An economic slowdown or recession, or the arrival of a new competitor, are examples of risks described under the “Risk Management” section of the 2016 Annual Report which could have an impact on these statements. We believe these statements to be reasonable and pertinent as at the date of publication of this report and represent our expectations. The Corporation does not intend to update any forward-looking statement contained herein, except as required by applicable law.

Information:

Geneviève Grégoire
Corporate Affairs Department
genevieve.gregoire@metro.ca
(514) 643-1000, ext. 2055

Source: METRO INC.

METRO further expands its ability to digitally transform the hospitality sector thru partnership with Planday

Düsseldorf, 2017-Jun-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO GROUP partners with Planday, the leading European employee scheduling and workforce management solution provider. METRO has committed to acquire a minority stake in Planday, a workforce management solution provider that enables business owners to take employee scheduling from pen and paper to a streamlined, digital process – saving managers significant time and resources. With this partnership, METRO is further expanding its ability to digitally transform the hospitality sector through carefully selected investments into best-in-class digital solution providers. “METRO is committed to offering its customers the best digital tools available, allowing them to run their businesses more efficiently and successfully,” said Dr Hansjörg Sage, Managing Director of METRO’s digital business unit. “With Planday, METRO can now offer its customers a world class, cloud-based employee scheduling and management system.”

“We only select the best suite of tools for the hospitality sector and invest only in companies that have the potential to dominate the markets with their proven business models and products that provide real and lasting value to all METRO customers. Planday easily convinced us that they were the most robust and easy-to-use solution. The platform addresses a major pain point of hospitality businesses and solves an issue that isn’t adequately addressed by other tools: allowing managers and employees to smoothly collaborate and communicate together to create the optimal work schedule and improve the METRO customers’ P&L,” stresses Dr Patrick Flesner, Director of the investment arm of METRO’s digital unit.

Planday CEO, Christian Brøndum, commented on the announcement: “We are determined to help hospitality and retail businesses move away from outdated, complicated, and cumbersome tools and processes. In many of these businesses these outdated tools and processes are what prevent them from realising their full potential. Planday can directly impact the growth of these businesses by ensuring they have the optimal shift plan at all times. This means businesses are sufficiently staffed for busy periods, maximizing sales and customer loyalty, while not over-staffing quieter periods, which reduces unnecessary costs. With Planday, our partners create a schedule in a couple of hours, instead of several days. The time our customers now save using Planday is quite significant. The app gives them much more flexibility when creating the staff schedule. Both, managers and employees, now have a full overview of the schedule, which makes them feel empowered,” Brøndum, explained.

With this deal, Planday will further expand its leadership position in Europe beyond the Nordics and the UK.

To strengthen ties between the two businesses, METRO has invested into Planday and Dr. Patrick Flesner will be joining the Planday Board. “Together with our dedicated sales team, we will leverage METRO’s large customer base and store network in order to provide METRO customers with access to Planday’s value-creating product suite and to help Planday successfully internationalize its business operations,” Dr. Patrick Flesner remarks.

Brøndum concludes, “In Metro, we have found a great partner, one that is as dedicated to digitalizing the hospitality businesses as we are. With this new partnership, Planday will effectively be the number one employee scheduling system in the DACH region. Next to our leading positions in UK and in the Nordic region, this deal will cement our position as the clear European leader in our space. We are proud and excited to partner with Metro, as we work toward the common goal of digitizing the hospitality industry, to the benefit of thousands of businesses.”

The METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company (W&FS Co.) is a leading international player in wholesale and foodservice distribution. With its sales lines METRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as its other associated companies, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. operates in 35 countries and employs more than 150,000 people around the world. In 2015/16, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. achieved sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers.

About Planday:

Planday builds software that makes it easier for managers and hourly workers to communicate, collaborate, and get work done. We empower businesses by making the relationship between hourly workers and their managers more efficient, transparent, and productive – which leads to better business returns. Planday grew out of a simple idea: scheduling and communication should be simple and straightforward for both managers and employees. Our product has come a long way since then, and we now offer a comprehensive SaaS product that can meet the unique needs of a wide variety of shift-based businesses. In 2014, Planday received investment from Creandum, and in 2015, they received another investment from former global Just-Eat CEO, Klaus Nyengaard. In 2016, Planday received a $14 million series B investment led by Idinvest, Creandum, SEB Private Equity, and Angel Investor Arthur Kosten, co-founder of Booking.com.

Contact:
METRO AG
Corporate Communications
Metro-Straße 1
40235 Düsseldorf

Phone +49 (0) 211 68 86-42 52
Fax +49 (0) 211 68 86-20 01

www.metrogroup.de
presse@metro.de
@Metro_Comms

Source: METRO GROUP

METRO launches fundraising campaign supporting Canadian Red Cross to assist flooding victims in Québec

MONTREAL, 2017-May-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sensitive to the situation currently impacting thousands of Quebeckers, METRO is launching a fundraising campaign supporting the Canadian Red Cross in its efforts to assist those affected by the flooding in Québec. Beginning May 9th, METRO will appeal to the generosity of its Metro and Super C store customers throughout the province and provide various ways to collect cash donations.

Customers will be able to deposit money in collection boxes set up at the checkout counters in all Metro and Super C stores in Quebec. All the money collected will be donated directly to the Canadian Red Cross’ Disaster Relief Fund to help families affected by the flooding.

METRO
With annual sales of over $12 billion and over 65,000 employees, METRO INC. is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical distribution in Québec and Ontario, where it operates a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

For more information:

Geneviève Grégoire
METRO
514 643-1000 ext 2055
genevieve.gregoire@metro.ca

Source: METRO INC.

Metro partners with la Ferme des Voltigeurs for the supply of Irresistibles private label fresh chicken products

Montreal, 2017-Mar-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Metro is pleased to announce that all Irresistibles private label fresh chicken products will now come from la Ferme des Voltigeurs, one of the largest producers / processors of grain-fed and organic chicken in Quebec. Offered under the Irresistibles Naturalia and Irresistibles Organic labels, the 10 products, certified by Aliments du Québec and of which four are certified organic, will be available in all Metro and Metro Plus stores in Quebec.

This partnership is part of Metro’s responsible procurement Framework, which was released in March 2017. It addresses several commitments, notably to supply itself entirely locally for its Irresistibles private label chicken sold in Quebec, develop a line of organic products for private label chicken, and increase the number of organic products available in store.

“Today, Metro is taking yet another step in its effort to maximize the accessibility and promotion of Quebec products, along with offering a complete line of chicken products that meets strict quality, taste and freshness requirements that consumers look for” said Marie-France Gibson, Vice President, Private Brands for Metro. “The agreement with la Ferme des Voltigeurs, a family business concerned with animal welfare, enables us to link our initiatives with respect to local purchasing and responsible procurement with consumers’ expectations.”

In fact, all Ferme des Voltigeurs chickens are free-range and are strictly fed vegetable protein and/or 100 per cent organic feed. Furthermore, the breeding cycle of the chickens, which makes a huge difference in the quality and quantity of their meat, often exceeds 40 days, as compared to the industry average of 35 days. The chicken is air-chilled and all of the processing and packaging procedures allow consumers and Metro to offer 18 days of freshness for its consumption and sale. Furthermore, the Irresistibles brand and Ferme des Voltigeurs logos are proudly displayed side by side on the packaging.

“We’re proud to create such a major partnership with Metro, a food distributor from right here in Quebec that cares about product quality, showcasing Quebec products and animal welfare”, said Dominique Martel, President and Executive Director of la Ferme des Voltigeurs. “Metro has been an important business partner for several years, and we’re proud that they trust us to produce their line of private label chicken: tasty products that are more nutritious, less fat and healthier.”

About Metro
With annual sales of over $12 billion, METRO INC. (TSX: MRU), founded in 1947, is the only major Canadian food distribution company to have its head office in Quebec. Along with its affiliates and franchisees, METRO INC. employs in Quebec and Ontario over 65,000 people, whose mission is to exceed their customers’ expectations every day to earn their-long term loyalty. METRO INC. operates a network of almost 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

Become one of our Facebook fans www.facebook.com/metromonepicier

Visit metro.ca

Contact Information:

Isabelle Salesse
Communication Advisor
514 643-1000, ext. 2172

Source: METRO INC.

Metro Local Purchasing Program brings in 91 news products from 19 different suppliers from the Ottawa region

Toronto, ON, 2017-Mar-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Metro today announces the arrival in store of 91 news products from 19 different suppliers from the Ottawa region, as a result of the pilot project currently underway in that region. The products will be from the deli, dairy, grocery, meat, frozen grocery, bakery and produce categories. Beginning in Mid-March, customers at 25 stores in the Ottawa market will be able to purchase unique products either made or developed in their area.

The success of the pilot project will be continuously monitored and evaluated in the coming months and will influence how the program grows and develops in other markets in Ontario. The ultimate goal will be to have the local purchasing program available across the province.

“The Ottawa pilot project will be the first proof-point in Metro’s commitment to provide easier access to our customers to more local products,” said Joe Fusco, Senior Vice President, Metro Ontario. “They will truly appreciate the wide range of unique regional items that we are now able to offer them.”

“We are delighted with Metro’s initiative to put forward products from the Ottawa region under this pilot project that further promotes local seasonal foods and works to help consumers recognize and ask for Ontario-grown foods at their local grocery store. We hope that these new agreements will benefit the people of Ottawa, suppliers, and in a more general way, the socio-economic development of the region,” said Denise Zaborowski, Manager, Foodland Ontario.

“enerjive is thrilled to be part of the Metro Local Purchasing Program in Ottawa! Being directly placed into 25 stores with eight different products will close to double the local distribution in Ottawa, making our crackers widely available across the region.” Said Korey Kealey, CEO of enerjive Inc., one of the first suppliers to participate. “It feels like a lucky break to be placed into a grouping of stores after organically growing our brand store by store for five years. We are so excited and welcome the opportunity to celebrate local goodness with other brands and Metro!

Said Pietro Comino, General Manager of Francesco’s Coffee, “Francesco’s Coffee is independently owned and operated by your friends and neighbours in Ottawa, Ontario”. Metro’s local sourcing program has made our local products available to a much wider market and has allowed us to create two new full-time positions and grow our operation significantly.”

Local Purchasing Program
On June 10th, 2016, Metro launched its local purchasing program in Ontario, which aims to optimize the accessibility and promotion of local products. The program, which is part of Metro’s overall corporate responsibility approach, is based on three guiding principles and aims to make Metro a unique showcase for regional products; A key partner of Foodland Ontario and sectoral agri-food associations that promote Ontario products; a key ally of to Ontario innovative suppliers. The local purchasing policy can be consulted on metro.ca. The Metro 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report is also available online at metro.ca/responsibility

About Metro inc.
With annual sales of over $12 billion and over 65,000 employees, METRO INC. is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical distribution in Québec and Ontario, where it operates a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Food Basics, Metro Plus and Super C, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

 

-30-

SOURCE: Metro

Contact Information:

Mark Bernhardt
Communications Specialist
mark.bernhardt@metro.ca
(416) 234-6155

METRO announces new initiatives Responsible Procurement Framework and Supplier Code of Conduct

Montréal, 2017-Feb-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, METRO announced the adoption of its Responsible Procurement Framework and Supplier Code of Conduct for responsible procurement. These new initiatives will enable METRO to provide its customers with the responsible products they are looking for and to communicate its expectations and requirements to their suppliers to better meet the challenges in its supply chain. These documents bring structure to policies that have already been implemented in this area, such as our sustainable fisheries and local purchasing policies.

The Responsible Procurement Framework will first apply to METRO’s food-related activities and will be extended to other sectors in coming years. The Supplier Code of Conduct applies to all of METRO’s goods and services providers, as well as their suppliers, across the supply chain. The Framework and the Code take effect immediately.

“The adoption of a rigorous approach to structure our practices is supplemental to the responsible procurement initiatives we have already implemented. Furthermore, our customers are requesting it. According to a consumer survey we conducted in 2016, 85% of respondents consider it important for a food retailer to make responsible purchases,” stated METRO Senior Vice President, National Procurement and Corporate Brands, Serge Boulanger. “This approach is in line with our vision to become the food retailer that provides the experience that is most adapted to consumer needs.”

The Responsible Procurement Framework and Supplier Code of Conduct were developed according to best practices and recognized standards. They are based on four key principles that build on METRO’s product and service selection criteria, such as price, quality and availability:

–  business ethics
–  respect for workers and contribution to socioeconomic development
–  protection of the environment
​-  respect for animal health and welfare

Continuous improvement approach
The new Code of Conduct is meant to guide the behaviours that METRO expects from its suppliers and the Responsible Procurement Framework aims to structure purchasing and optimize the implementation of responsible practices. The two initiatives are complementary and constitute the foundation of the company’s responsible procurement approach.

“We are investing considerable effort to ensure the effective implementation of these initiatives, with a view to continuous improvement. In addition to spearheading a major training program for our teams and developing tools to operationalize our directives and principles, we will work in close collaboration with our suppliers, both large and small explained Marie-Claude Bacon, senior director, Corporate Affairs. “METRO is actively seeking to do business with suppliers that share the company’s commitment to corporate responsibility and we are pleased to note that many of our suppliers have already undertaken their own initiatives and several are already leaders in the field.”

About METRO
With annual sales of over $12 billion and over 65,000 employees, METRO INC. is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical distribution in Québec and Ontario, where it operates a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

Become one of our Facebook fans www.facebook.com/metroontario.

Visit metro.ca

Contact:

Geneviève Grégoire
(514) 643-1000, ext. 2055
genevieve.gregoire@metro.ca

Source: METRO Group

METRO GROUP: the Wholesale and Food Business to be called METRO; the Consumer Electronics division to be called CECONOMY

  • New company names published: It is intended that, in the future, the METRO GROUP Wholesale and Food Specialist Company will be called METRO, the METRO GROUP Consumer Electronics Company will be called CECONOMY
  • Two focused, independent companies present their equity stories at the Capital Markets Day
  • After effective date of the demerger, both companies expected to qualify for the MDAX
  • Management teams confirm planned dividend continuity
  • Separation at ratio of 1:1: it is proposed that each shareholder of the former METRO AG will receive one share of the new METRO AG in addition to the METRO (future CECONOMY) share

Düsseldorf, 2016-Dec-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Through its planned demerger, METRO GROUP is launching two strong, successful and strategically focused companies. For the first time, the Wholesale and Food Specialist and the company focused on Consumer Electronics are set to present their strategies as independent entities. At the Capital Markets Day in Düsseldorf, company names and brand positioning will be presented for the first time: It is intended that, in the future, the Wholesale and Food Business will operate under the corporate brand METRO, while the Consumer Electronics division will operate under the brand CECONOMY.

“Today, two dynamic companies with the best positioning in their sectors will introduce themselves. Each of these companies has established a strong and future-proof strategic, operative and financial position – and as independent companies we will set our course for sustainable and healthy growth,” said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG, at the Capital Markets Day in Düsseldorf. “Our Wholesale and Food business is already one of the leading international companies, and we will gain momentum in all 35 countries in which we operate our store-based and delivery business.”

Pieter Haas, designated CEO of the future CECONOMY, said: “We are the number one in European Consumer Electronics and we have created an excellent starting position for our upcoming independence through a comprehensive realignment. We currently generate €22 billion in annual sales and have nearly two billion customer contacts each year. All our stores are now fully digitised and integrated into our multichannel strategy. We combine the emotional shopping experience in our stores with the benefits of digital technologies. With our products and services, we are present for our customers on all channels and we are their partner and daily companion in an increasingly digitising world. We are ready! I am convinced that our best years are yet to come.”

Wholesale and Food business: Realignment offers ideal conditions for continued appreciation in value

The new METRO AG is an internationally leading specialist in wholesale and food retail and primarily comprises METRO Cash & Carry and Real, in addition to delivery specialists and other companies. METRO is active in 35 countries with local wholesale companies and delivery specialists (Classic Fine Foods, Rungis Express, Pro à Pro, Midban). This business has attained an excellent position in its markets, both through its leading role in the self-service wholesale trade, but also through a growing presence in the delivery business. In financial year 2014/15, METRO Cash & Carry introduced a new operating model to increase growth and sales. It gives far more entrepreneurial freedom to the individual countries and allows for greater customer focus. METRO profited from the focus on increased customer value; for 13 quarters in a row, like-for-like sales have increased and profitability has improved substantially.

The second activity under the new roof is Real, a leading large-scale full-range supplier (hypermarket) in the food retail sector in Germany. Real operates 285 hypermarkets in Germany. Following a phase of consolidation, Real has created the economic framework for future growth, particularly by implementing new market concepts, an agreement with the trade union and procurement cooperation with Markant and PHD. As a benchmark for the distribution of dividends, the future METRO AG confirmed a targeted range of 45 to 55% of the company’s earnings per share.

Largest supplier of consumer electronics in Europe is well-positioned for further growth and increased profitability

Separation of the companies at a ratio of 1:1 – MDAX qualification expected for both companies

While it is intended that the former METRO AG will continue to exist as future CECONOMY AG and will constitute the Consumer Electronics business, it is planned that the Wholesale and Food Specialist will be spun off as an independent, stock-listed company and will operate under the established name of METRO. The separation of METRO GROUP into two independent companies will be proposed to the shareholders at a ratio of 1:1. Hence, each shareholder of the former METRO AG will receive one share of the new METRO AG in addition to the CECONOMY share. These new shares are entitled to participate in dividends for the financial years starting 1 October 2016. The future CECONOMY will hold 10% of the future METRO AG. 1% of the share capital is paid in return for the transfer of the assets to be spun off; the disposal is blocked for seven years. The remaining 9% also constitutes a purely financial participation and does not involve any managerial role at the future METRO AG. This participation is subject to a customary holding period of six months. CECONOMY is the holding company of Media-Saturn, the European number one in consumer electronics on the basis of its sales of €22 billion (financial year 2015/16), market share, selling space and its 65,000 employees. Media-Saturn is active in 15 European countries and is the market leader in nine of them. All of the more than 1,000 stores have now been made multichannel ready and have been converted to digital technology. In combination with its strong web presence, the company currently reports 5.8 million customer contacts per day. In the past two years, Media-Saturn has increased sales and improved profitability. Media-Saturn intends to utilize its solid financial structure and experienced management to increase internet and online-induced sales in particular, expand its services business and lead consolidation in the sector. In principle, the company intends to base its dividend payment on a payout ratio of 45 to 55% of the earnings per share.

The annual general meeting of METRO AG will vote on this demerger on 6 February 2017. The decision to separate the businesses requires a majority of three-quarters of the share capital of METRO AG represented at the annual general meeting. All three anchor shareholders of METRO AG – together holding almost 50% of the vote – have already indicated their support for the demerger. These anchor shareholders have also agreed to a holding obligation (so-called lock-up) conforming to usual market conditions and other restrictions on disposal.

Right after the effective date of the demerger, all shares of the new METRO AG are expected to be admitted for trading in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange; a secondary listing on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange is planned. The Management Board of the former METRO AG expects that both companies will meet the MDAX criteria and will be listed in this market segment. The aim is to achieve Investment Grade Rating for both companies. As a result of the demerger, costs for taxes in the single-digit millions and transaction costs amounting to approximately €100 million are expected to be incurred.

Composition of the Management Boards and the Supervisory Boards

With effect from the date of the separation, probably in mid-2017, the future METRO AG will be managed by a Management Board that will be reduced from five to four members and headed by the Chairman of the Management Board Olaf Koch. The current Board members Pieter Boone (COO) and Heiko Hutmacher (Human Resources) will be joined by Christian Baier, previously CFO of METRO Cash & Carry, as the new CFO. It is intended that the Management Board of CECONOMY will consist of three persons: Besides designated Chairman of the Management Board Pieter Haas and CFO Mark Frese (both Board members at the old METRO AG), it is planned that Dr. Dieter Haag Molkenteller will serve as the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer.

As a result of the demerger of METRO AG, the 20-person strong Supervisory Boards of the companies will also be reconstituted. Some of the current members of METRO AG’s Supervisory Board are expected to be appointed to the new Supervisory Board. As reported, it is planned that the Supervisory Board of the new company METRO AG will be chaired by METRO’s current Chairman of the Supervisory Board Jürgen B. Steinemann. The following persons are designated to become further members of the Supervisory Board and representatives of the shareholders: Gwyn Burr, Dr. Florian Funck, Peter Küpfer, Mattheus P. M. (Theo) de Raad and Dr. Fredy Raas. The remaining shareholder representatives have not yet been appointed at this stage.

As previously reported, it is proposed that Jürgen Fitschen will chair the Supervisory Board of CECONOMY. The independent management consultant Dr. Bernhard Düttmann will be nominated for election at the next annual general meeting in place of Jürgen B. Steinemann who will be stepping down. Dr. jur. Hans-Jürgen Schinzler will remain a member after the spin-off. Regine Stachelhaus will be newly recommended for election to the Supervisory Board. She will be nominated in place of Prof. Dr. Ann-Kristin Achleitner who will withdraw. In place of Gwyn Burr, who will move to the new METRO AG, Julia Goldin, Member of the Executive Board of Lego A/S, Billund/Denmark is nominated for election. In place of Mattheus P.M. (Theo) de Raad, who will also move, British national Jo Harlow, Member of the Board of InterContinental Hotels, is nominated for election. Further proposals have not been finalised at this point.

METRO GROUP is one of the most important international retailing companies. It generated sales of some €58 billion in financial year 2015/16. The company operates at more than 2,000 locations in 30 countries and employs some 220,000 people. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands, which act independently on the market: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry, the international leader in the self-service wholesale trade; Media Markt and Saturn, the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing; and Real hypermarkets.

More information at www.metrogroup.de

This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Metro management and other information currently available to METRO. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. METRO does not intend, and does not assume any liability whatsoever, to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Contact:
METRO AG
Corporate Communications
Metro-Straße 1
40235 Düsseldorf

Phone +49 (0) 211 68 86-42 52
Fax +49 (0) 211 68 86-20 01

www.metrogroup.de
presse@metro.de
@Metro_Comms

Source: METRO GROUP

Metro launches online grocery shopping with guaranteed freshness promise

Montréal, 2016-Oct-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — Metro now offers consumers the opportunity to do their grocery shopping online with a guaranteed freshness promise. Implementation begins today in two Metro Plus stores in Montreal and one in Laval, reaching consumers in the greater Montreal area.

To guarantee freshness, employees dedicated to online grocery shopping were trained to select the freshest in-store products, like customers would choose themselves. The products selected are then kept in-store in a dedicated Tri-Zones® area: temperate, refrigerated and frozen zones. The freshness of the products is thus preserved and guaranteed, from shelf until they are collected at the store or delivered to home, delivery trucks being equipped with the same process.

“We have made every effort to ensure that customers make no compromise with respect to the freshness of the products selected, that they find all the products they are looking for online as they would in-store and that they receive their order at the most convenient moment for them” said Marc Giroux, Senior Vice President, Metro.

“Metro has developed a simple and personalized digital platform. In addition, the members of the metro&moi loyalty program will save even more time because they will be able to add the products they buy frequently to their cart. They will also be able to use their personalized coupons as well as their rewards”, pointed out Gino Plevano, Vice President, Digital Strategy and Loyalty, Metro.

Consumers who do their grocery shopping online can pick up their purchases in two Montreal stores and one Laval store or have their groceries delivered. In Phase I, delivery will be available on the Island of Montreal in a selected area located East of Highway 15/Décarie. Based on the results of Phase I, Metro will decide on the best way to deploy this initiative elsewhere in Quebec and in Ontario.

Online grocery shopping is part of the company’s overall digital strategy which is designed to position Metro as the retailer offering the food experience best suited to consumers’ needs for years to come. The metro&moi loyalty program and all of its features are built into the online offerings. For more information, visit metro.ca.

Metro Inc.

With annual sales of over $12 billion, METRO INC. (TSX: MRU), founded in 1947, is the only major Canadian food distribution company to have its head office in Quebec. Along with its affiliates and franchisees, METRO INC. employs in Quebec and Ontario over 65,000 people, whose mission is to exceed their customers’ expectations every day to earn their-long term loyalty. METRO INC. operates a network of almost 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

Become one of our Facebook fans www.facebook.com/metromonepicier

Visit metro.ca

Contact:

Metro Inc.
Geneviève Grégoire
Communication Advisor
514 643-1000 ext. 2055
genevieve.gregoire@metro.ca

Phase I stores:

Metro Plus Kirkland
3801 St-Charles Blvd.
Kirkland, Québec
514-695-2411

Metro Plus Ste-Rose
1207Curé-Labelle Blvd.
Laval, Québec
450-622-4524

Metro Plus Pie IX
4290 Jean-Talon Street East
Montréal, Québec
514-725-9321

Source: Metro Inc.

Metro to showcase local cheeses in support of Sélection Caseus

Montréal, 2016-Sep-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — For the third straight year, Metro is proud to support Sélection Caseus, the annual competition intended to showcase the know-how of Quebec cheese makers. As a result, Metro will carry out a major program to showcase local cheeses in its stores throughout the province.

“Our consumers’ interest in Quebec products continues to grow. Our latest survey shows that the availability of local products is important to 66% of Metro customers. We are particularly pleased to highlight local cheese makers and their exceptional products in an original and sustained way” said Marie-Claude Bacon, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at Metro. “We are proud to contribute to their growth and to help our customers discover the fruits of their labour by providing more opportunities to showcase them, which is at the very foundation of our Local Purchasing Program.”

Les Producteurs de lait du Québec (Quebec milk producers) are honoured that they can count on Metro’s loyal support in their efforts to showcase local cheeses. “Metro grocers have always been very unified in promoting our featured products and our 2016 fall partnership enables us to broaden our mutual desire to better identify and select Quebec cheeses at the point of purchase” commented Julie Gélinas, Marketing Director for PLQ. “Our new delicious promotional initiative, developed in concert with the Metro team, is entirely focused on the wonders of our artisan cheese makers and will surely improve the experience of consumers who are always eager for high quality local products”.

A choice spot awaits delicious local cheeses and everything is set up to make it easy for customers to see them. From the very first glance, consumers will be able to pick out Quebec cheeses, thanks to Fromages d’ici stickers on the packaging. Moreover, 23 cheeses will have a card on which customers will be provided with a description and an ideal wine pairing. Ten of chose cheeses were 2016 Sélection Caseus finalists or winners that set themselves apart in a particular category. Four recipe cards will also be offered in-store, to inspire consumers and encourage them to choose local cheeses. One of those is devoted to pairings of local cheeses and local apples, focusing on the harmonies to be discovered between their respective tastes. Finally, the flyer will feature several local cheeses, as well as a few that carved out a spot for themselves at Sélection Caseus.

This initiative is in keeping with Metro’s Local Purchasing Program, launched in May of 2013, intended to promote local products and increase access to them, and of which one of the three guiding principles is to make Metro a privileged partner of Aliments du Québec and of the sectorial agri-food associations that promote Quebec products.

You can view Metro’s Local Purchasing Policy and the 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report at metro.ca/responsibility

METRO INC.
With annual sales of over $12 billion, METRO INC. (TSX: MRU), founded in 1947, is the only major Canadian food distribution company to have its head office in Quebec. Along with its affiliates and franchisees, METRO INC. employs in Quebec and Ontario over 65,000 people, whose mission is to exceed their customers’ expectations every day to earn their-long term loyalty. METRO INC. operates a network of almost 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

Become one of our Facebook fans www.facebook.com/metromonepicier

Visit metro.ca

Media Information:
Geneviève Grégoire
Communication Advisor
(514) 643-1000 ext. 2055

Source: METRO INC.

Techstars powered METRO Accelerator opens the application process for its second programme for start-ups

  • Wanted are international start-ups that promote the digitalisation of the restaurant, hotel and catering sector
  • Ten selected teams are offered €120,000 investment and access to METRO’s and Techstars’ network of experts
  • Continuation of the world’s first accelerator for digital solutions in the food tech and hospitality industry, starting in September in Berlin
  • Applications for the METRO Accelerator programme are accepted online until 20 June 2016 via the websitewww.metroaccelerator.com

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2016-Apr-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is commencing the application process for its second programme for start-ups, whose digital services and companies could give a direct boost to the commercial success of restaurants, hotels and catering businesses. “The great success of the first round, with 11 international start-ups, proved to us that we should immediately up the ante and make the many opportunities of digitalisation more readily accessible to our customers in the restaurant and hotel sector. I am convinced that digital business models and services will play an even bigger role for the success of our customers in the future,” says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board ofMETRO AG. “More and more business founders are coming to us with new digital ideas. With the continuation of METRO Accelerator, we wish to provide them with a fast and efficient opportunity to test their projects with the help of our international experts in the area of wholesaling and food, and to advance these projects in the market. We offer potential access to a very large customer base and extensive contacts in the hospitality industry that start-ups barely receive elsewhere.”

From now until 20 June 2016, interested start-ups from all over the world can submit an application for the programme on the English-language website www.metroaccelerator.com. The teams must fill out a questionnaire and can upload a video, if they wish. The whole application is to be completed in English. An expert jury composed of investors and mentors will choose the 10 most promising start-ups. The programme will get under way in Berlin on 12 September. After three months’ working with more than 100 international mentors, the start-ups will present their company to investors, industry leaders and the general public on the so-called Demo Day in December 2016.

“The potential in this still underdeveloped founder segment is vast and the market for digital solutions in the hospitality industry is growing rapidly,” says Alexander Zumdieck, METRO managing director of METRO Accelerator. “We received several hundred interesting international applications for our first Accelerator round last year, far more than we anticipated. We expect a similarly strong response for the second round,” Zumdieck explains.

Once again, innovative businesses are being sought, with the ultimate aim of delivering added value for the restaurant, hotel and catering sector. They could be solutions for entire business areas – multichannel, new applications to gain customer loyalty and optimise business processes are just as conceivable as new digital products and special services. Start-ups at all maturity levels and from all over the world can apply, and neither their legal structure nor the age of the team members is relevant to the application. What is important is that a team is available and can work for the duration of the three-month programme in Berlin from mid-September. The whole programme is conducted in English.

As a renowned partner, Techstars will continue to be responsible for start-up development in the METRO Accelerator programme for the next three years. “After the successful conclusion of the first programme, we are delighted to be developing the promising start-up segment further, together with METRO,” says Jens Lapinski, Techstars managing director of METRO Accelerator. “As one of the world’s most well-known start-up ecosystems, Techstars contributes its internationally tested programme and a network of more than 3,000 mentors, investors and experienced members of the start-up community. To date, we have invested in more than 1,000 company founders. You remain a member of the Techstars network for life, not just for the duration of the programme.”

Further information on the process and details of the programme can be found at www.metroaccelerator.com and on Twitter at @MetroAccel.

METRO GROUP is one of the most important international retailing companies. It generated sales of some €59 billion in financial year 2014/15. The company operates over 2,000 locations in 29 countries and employs more than 220,000 people. The performance ofMETRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands, which act independently on the market: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry, the international leader in the self-service wholesale trade; Media Markt and Saturn, the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing; and Real hypermarkets.

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of startup programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO. Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and Do More Faster™. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from early stage grassroots community development to more formal opportunities that provide education, experience, acceleration, funding, and beyond.

For more information visit www.techstars.com.

Contact Media Department

Telephone: +49 211 6886-4252
Telefax: +49 211 6886-2001

E-Mail METRO GROUP: presse@metro.de

METRO and Techstars officially launched the new Techstars METRO Accelerator; applications until 3 August 2015

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2015-4-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO and Techstars have officially launched the new Techstars METRO Accelerator: Starting immediately, the two partners are seeking start-up teams who support the digitisation of the gastronomy, hotel, catering and food industries with their technological applications. From now until 3 August 2015, interested teams of founders from around the world can apply online at www.techstarsmetro.com. Starting in October, experienced mentors will support 10 selected start-ups over a period of three months to develop their innovative ideas further.

“Start-ups worldwide are developing digital and technological innovations that could be ground-breaking for our customers in the gastronomy sector,” said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG and CEO of METRO Cash & Carry. “At METRO, we would like to find and support the most creative and innovative among them. By helping founders to develop their ideas, we help our customers to become even more successful using these new services and technologies.” From now until 3 August 2015, interested start-ups from around the world can therefore submit their application for the start-up program on the English-language website www.techstarsmetro.com. The teams have to complete an extensive questionnaire and have the option to upload a video. The entire application process will take place in English. The program will be officially kicked off on 12 October 2015. The teams will present their ideas to international investors, leading sector representatives and the public on a designated Demo Day in January.

“Techstars is so excited to partner with METRO on this accelerator,” said David Cohen, Founder and Managing Partner, Techstars. “The hospitality and food tech space has been under-represented and given METRO’s significant resources, combined with Techstars’ proven methodology, we’re confident that we can bring a new standard of innovation to this vertical.”

Over a period of three months from October, the Techstars METRO Accelerator will foster 10 selected start-ups in Berlin. In order to provide them with optimum support, METRO will make available to the founders the combined specialist knowledge of its experts from procurement, distribution, marketing, strategy, finance, legal and communication. As one of the most renowned start-up networks worldwide, Techstars will contribute its internationally proven development program and a network comprising more than 3,000 mentors, investors and experienced members of the start-up community. Digital agency R/GA, another partner supporting the program, will offer the teams exclusive multi-channel access to brand strategy and creative services as well as access to its global client and partner networks. In addition, the founders will be supported financially for the duration of the program.

The program organisers are looking for international technology start-ups in all phases of their growth. There is no age limit for applicants. Ultimately, the innovative business ideas should aim to provide added value for the gastronomy, hotel and catering sectors. These could be solutions for all business areas – multichannel, food delivery and new applications to promote customer loyalty are just as conceivable as entirely new digital products or special services.

Participation in the Techstars METRO Accelerator offers start-ups a host of new opportunities: METRO / MAKRO Cash & Carry is a leading international cash & carry wholesale company which operates in 26 countries. The access to METRO’s customers and the retail and wholesale company’s 5,500 sales representatives offers the start-ups enormous potential. METRO’s customers will profit in their turn from the technological innovations from the Techstars METRO Accelerator and use the potential for their own business.

Further information is available at www.techstarsmetro.com and on Twitter at @MG_innovate.

 

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. In the financial year 2013/14 it generated sales of around €63 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 30 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing – Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to build their business. With 18 mentorship-driven accelerator programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey. Techstars provides access to over 5,000 founders, mentors investors, and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and do more faster. Techstars makes entrepreneurship more accessible by providing access to capital, guidance, marketing, business development, customer acquisition, and recruitment.

R/GA, the company for the Connected Age, develops products, services and communications to grow our clients’ brands and businesses. Founded in 1977, the agency has been a pioneer at the intersection of technology, design and marketing with work spanning web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development and business consulting. R/GA has more than 1,400 employees globally with offices across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia-Pacific and is part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG), one of the world’s largest advertising and marketing services organizations. R/GA is a member of the GAN (gan.co), a network of the world’s most respected accelerators and organizations in support of the startup ecosystem. For more information on R/GA, please visit www.rga.com, www.rgaaccelerator.com, @rgaventures, and @rgaaccelerator.

METRO partners with US company Techstars to support innovative hospitality start-ups

  • Techstars METRO Accelerator: METRO collaborates with US partner Techstars to promote digital innovations for customers in the hospitality sector
  • Innovation to be an integral part of METRO GROUP’s corporate strategy: customer and market trends to be incorporated faster into business operations
  • Focus on new channels, logistics and marketing solutions as well as innovative services
  • New “Innovation in Retail Meetup” network promotes communication between start-ups and METRO GROUP

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2015-2-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — METRO GROUP is actively shaping the future of the trade industry and is increasingly opening up its sales lines both inwardly and outwardly to innovative ideas. With this objective, METRO is joining up with US company Techstars, one of the most highly recognised international mentorship programmes, to support innovative hospitality start-ups. The newly launched Techstars METRO Accelerator targets companies offering innovative technology applications for the restaurant, hotel and catering industries. In the context of this programme, experienced mentors and experts spend three months helping start-ups to advance their business. Techstars METRO Accelerator is the first global programme focused on technology applications for the hospitality sector. International digital agency R/GA will supplement both partners’ knowhow at the Techstars METRO Accelerator in Berlin.

Teams of founders are being sought with technology-based services and products that simplify, accelerate and digitise operational processes and customer relationships of restaurants, cafés, snack bars and catering businesses or hotels. The aim is to make this important METRO customer group even more successful in future thanks to technological innovations. The programme will kick off at the end of April in Berlin. “With programmes like the Accelerator, we are searching specifically for innovations that tie in with our strengths and which we can thus develop better than others,” says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG and CEO of METRO Cash & Carry. “With 1.6 billion customers per year in our stores, almost a billion visitors on our websites and around 75 million loyalty cards, METRO GROUP has a unique customer base in a broad portfolio of retail formats. Coupled with our marketing and sales power as well as our procurement competence, we have the ability to help new ideas and innovations, both stationary and digital, to succeed.”

In order to promote communication between innovative technology start-ups from the trade and hospitality sectors with METRO GROUP and its sales lines, the company has created a new platform. At the “Innovation in Retail Meetups” at the Metro Campus in Düsseldorf, business founders present their ideas and business models and discuss them with other entrepreneurs, start-up experts and Metro representatives. The bi-monthly Meetups were started only recently, but have already evolved into a popular networking platform for the sector.

Overall, the international retail and wholesale company is amalgamating the realignment of its sales lines according to relevant customer, market and technological trends. To this end, METRO GROUP is merging the areas of Strategy, Investment Management and Business Innovation into one powerful strategic unit. “Our strategy aims to achieve a balanced mixture of business models and countries in future,” Koch says. “This includes on the one hand the repositioning of our sales lines, but also developing new business segments. With our new innovation approach, we see ourselves well equipped to do this.”

Within this framework, METRO GROUP is aligning itself into five innovation areas that will serve as a basis for all innovation projects. The first innovation area, “Store”, will take into account the development that purely online traders are increasingly looking for a way into real selling spaces. One successful test project in this context was a pop-up store that the US online trader eBay carried out in cooperation with online payment service PayPal and METRO GROUP in Bremen up to the end of January 2015. All sales lines are set to profit from the new opportunities for customer retention, sales approach, and customer advice and incentivisation.

The second innovation area, “Channel”, focuses on the accelerated development of various distribution channels. Multi- and omni-channels are the relevant approaches that must be implemented here. The most recent example is the Media Markt and Saturn web shops on the eBay platform that have been opened as a new distribution channel.

The growth of food e-commerce has conferred even greater importance on logistics. The third innovation area, “Logistics, Supply Chain, Procurement and Warehousing”, will open up new opportunities in this segment for METRO GROUP. Finally, the aim of the fourth innovation area, “Marketing”, is to optimise the sales approach of all sales lines.

The fifth innovation area, “New Products & Services”, will develop customer-centred models for new products and services. For example, more than just the normal product range is to be offered to METRO Cash & Carry’s most important customer base: companies from the gastronomy, hotel and catering industry. Specially tailored services are set to support customers particularly in the sector’s ongoing digitisation.

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international trading companies. During the financial year 2013/14, it generated sales of about €63 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 30 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing – Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

METRO start-up study: majority of hoteliers and food service providers would still opt for self-employment if they had to make the choice all over again

  • First start-up study for hotel, restaurant and catering sector
  • More than three quarters of hoteliers and food service providers are satisfied or very satisfied with owning their own business
  • Nearly two thirds would still opt for self-employment if they had to make the choice all over again
  • Four fifths consider the lack of qualified staff the biggest problem of this industry
  • More than two million people in Germany dream of opening their own café, restaurant or hotel
  • www.metro-startupstudy.com: More results of the study and video interviews with entrepreneurs

Düsseldorf, Germany, 2014-10-14— /EPR Retail News/ — Stress, worries, a lack of customers: this is what the daily life of many hoteliers and food service providers looks like according to relevant TV shows. The METRO start-up study, which for the first time in Germany analyses the start-up mentality of independent businesses in the hospitality sector, shows a different picture: the vast majority of these are satisfied or even very satisfied and would still opt for self-employment if they had to make the choice all over again. This is good news for the more than two million people in Germany who dream of starting up their own café, restaurant or hotel. A representative survey conducted by METRO Cash & Carry in cooperation with the German market research company Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK) showed that the biggest downside for these independent businesses is the lack of qualified staff.

The wholesale company METRO Cash & Carry, whose core customers in particular include hotel, restaurant and catering operators, initiated this survey on the occasion of its 50th anniversary and thereby presented the first representative analysis of the start-up mentalities in this sector in Germany. The survey focused on the motivations, aspirations and wishes of the entrepreneurs with a view to operating an independent business in this sector. What drives these people? Which challenges do they face? What is the recipe of success when it comes to being self-employed? These questions are relevant for a very large industry sector: besides the crafts and trading sector, the hospitality sector is one of the three most popular sectors for start-ups in Germany. In 2013, around 1.7 million people worked in the hospitality sector and generated a net sales value of nearly € 70 billion.

“Two aspects are particularly remarkable: on the one hand a very high level of satisfaction among the self-employed people surveyed despite all the burdens involved in this business. The hotel and food service industry appears to be a real source of happiness”, said Olaf Koch, CEO of METRO Cash & Carry and Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. “On the other hand, there is an increasing lack of qualified staff, which is a cause for concern”.

77 per cent of those surveyed stated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their profession and around 65 per cent would again choose to run an independent business. Almost 90 per cent of them confirmed that they were very passionate about their business. Among the main motivations for starting their own business was the desire for independence and self-fulfilment, the realisation of their own ideas as well as doing something for the greater good. At the same time, an important aspect for 94 per cent of the entrepreneurs was being able to take responsibility for their actions.

For 79 per cent of the entrepreneurs surveyed, the lack of qualified staff is the primary concern when running their own business, ahead of bureaucracy and the burden of taxation. 51 per cent of those surveyed agreed with the assertion “I ultimately have to see to everything myself”. But even the challenges of daily working life can not reduce the high level of satisfaction of these independent entrepreneurs. Having the choice, the vast majority would do everything exactly the same way again.

The goal of starting up something on their own, being the boss in their own business and having and taking on a leadership role also motivate prospective entrepreneurs. Especially for start-ups, this independence is the deciding factor: 87 per cent highlighted that this desire for independence was the key criterion for venturing into self-employment. Family tradition also plays an important role. Especially in the hotel industry, family members taking over and continue operating the business is extremely common.

This is also the context in which the aspect of strengthening the local economy must be seen: for 70 per cent of those surveyed it is important to create new jobs, and consequently give something back to the local community. Almost three quarters of the entrepreneurs (71 per cent) want to take responsibility for themselves and others. In this regard, the large majority of the independent entrepreneurs seem to trust their own ideas and abilities: 88 per cent of those surveyed believe in their professional success. With this conviction, to make the customer happy is their own priority (65 per cent). 90 per cent of the people surveyed appreciate a direct feedback from their guests and see their business as a place where people can come together (60 per cent).

In the framework of this survey a total of 402 entrepreneurs were anonymously interviewed by phone during the period from March to April 2014, of which 68 per cent were men and 32 per cent women. The target group primarily comprised the founders of SMEs with two to 20 employees and with annual sales of 100,000 euros to 200,000 euros or upwards of 500,000 euros.

Further information on the METRO start-up study can be found at the website www.metro-startupstudy.com by browsing through the complete study brochure or by downloading it as a pdf. Video interviews with entrepreneurs who report on their experiences have been specially produced for this website. Visitors can also order printed copies of the brochure.

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. During the financial year 2012/13 (pro forma), it generated sales of about €66 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 31 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing – Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

###