of the year 2019
REWE Group continued ist successful development in the 2019 business year. Read about the topics we focused on over the year.
50 years of MERKUR
MERKUR has been a driving force in Austria’s food retail sector for more than 50 years. At the end of 2019, MERKUR is operating 138 stores and is one of the country’s largest employers. The company remains firmly on its expansion course during its anniversary year as well: four new stores were opened and eight remodelling projects were completed.
DER Touristik Group: Launch of a destination agency on Mauritius
DER Touristik Group acquired a stake in its long-time partner Mautourco Holdings Ltd. on Mauritius and continued to expand its network of destination agencies in the process. Mautourco is the market leader on the island of Mauritius – a strategically important destination for the travel division. The agency’s more than 400 employees serve about 180,000 customers from a large number of international source markets.
DER Touristik Suisse: New brand Kuoni Sports launched
In Switzerland, Kuoni established a foothold in the growing sports travel market: The tour operator created the new brand Kuoni Sports and launches a long-term partnership with Ochsner Sport, the largest retailer of sporting goods in the country. DER Touristik Suisse is now operating a specialised tour operator for world-class and mass sporting activities around the globe for the first time.
REWE Group recertified as a Top Employer
For the fifth consecutive year, REWE Group is certified as a Top Employer Germany 2019 by the Top Employers Institute for the company’s exceptional commitment to its workforce.
PENNY and the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture launch a campaign against food waste
PENNY joined with German Minister Julia Klöckner to begin a Germany-wide campaign called “Kostbares retten” (Save the Precious). In taking this step, the discount grocer shows ist long-term support for the initiative “Zu gut für die Tonne!” (Too Good for the Bin) sponsored by the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture. PENNY Austria is also doing its part in the battle against food waste: Using products from its store brand “Ich bin Österreich”(I am Austria), PENNY began in July to provide its customers with information about the sell-by date. In addition, since the beginning of the year, all PENNY stores have been providing food donations to charitable organisations.
DER Touristik Germany pulls off a major rebooking effort after Germania bankruptcy
After the Germania airline filed for bankruptcy, DER Touristik Germany responds with an emergency plan and one of the biggest rebooking efforts in the company’s history. Nearly all package-tour customers are able to be booked on new flights. For the package-tour customers of DER Touristik Germany’s own tour operators, all costs related to Germania’s bankruptcy are assumed.
DER Touristik: Relaunch of hotel brands lti and Calimera
DER Touristik is modernising its hotel brands lti and Calimera: Calimera is sharpening its profile as an upscale family club. lti is focusing on the areas of pleasure, relaxation and fitness as an adult friendly brand in the premium segment.
“BILLA Unterwegs”: More shops at Shell petrol stations in Austria
A total of 47 shops at petrol stations introduced the concept “BILLA Unterwegs” (BILLA on the go) in 2018 as part of an alliance between Shell Austria GmbH and ADEG Österreich Handelsaktiengesellschaft as a member of REWE International AG. Other shops at Shell petrol stations across Austria were added in 2019. By December, customers could take advantage of this offer at more than 60 locations.
PENNY lays foundation for a 50,000-square-metre warehouse in Kronau
PENNY is planning to reinforce the commercial base of its around 265 stores in the Kronau region of southern Germany with an approximately 50,000-square-metre, sustainably built warehouse. The combined warehouse and administration location, where around 450 employees will work, is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2020.
toom online shop is launched
toom has expanded its digital service once again: On 27 March, toom began to give all DIY customers the opportunity to order more than 10,000 shippable products from the comfort of their own homes – in an online shop that never closes.
ADEG presents second village life report for Austria
ADEG presents the "ADEG Dorfleben-Report" (Village life report), a publication that explores life in small towns in Austria, together with Alfred Riedl, the president of the Austrian Association of Towns and Municipalities, and political scientist Peter Filzmaier. The report is designed to provide an overview of the quality of life in rural areas and explore possibilities for the future.
BIPA adds care products for the elderly and infirm to its product range in Austria
BIPA has become the first company in Austria’s health and beauty market to add a wide range of home-care products for the elderly and infirm to its assortment. The products can be purchased in the online shop or in 100 branch stores.
BILLA Slovakia – new training centre in Košice
BILLA has opened another training centre for employees in Košice to complement the first one it opened in 2015. BILLA employees are professionally schooled and trained there.
REWE retailers offer regional delivery service
In spring 2019, REWE began to expand its regional delivery service along with its central delivery service. The principle: REWE independent retailers deliver products that were ordered in their individual online shops to customers. By the end of 2019, more than 250 REWE independent retailers across Germany were providing the regional service to customers.
Fresh food counters added to the partially automated REWE warehouse FFC 2.0
Since April, customers of REWE delivery service in the Cologne region can order freshly cut cheese, sausage and meat online from the service counter. The Scarlet One warehouse with its highly complex production operation including clean room and the highest hygienic standards was built exactly for this purpose.
REWE Group Austria is a co-founder of a unique, Europe-wide start-up hub
REWE Group in Austria, Erste Bank and Sparkassen and Clever Clover announced an alliance for a unique, Europe-wide start-up hub. The hub provides advisory assistance in all areas to start-ups in food, cosmetics and personal hygiene to facilitate the success of their inventions. REWE Group in Austria joins with its trading companies BIPA, MERKUR and BILLA to offer proof-of-concept and the sales area of more than 2,000 stores.
New Dertour product line: DERTOUR Sports
Under the name DERTOUR Sports, the tour operator is bundling and expanding its portfolio for athletic holidaymakers and sports fans. Under the motto “Die ganze Welt des Sports – aus einer Hand” (The whole world of sports – from just one source), DERTOUR Sports serves as the umbrella for five product segments, including “Olympic Games”, “Golf holidays” and “Bicycle, hiking, outdoor”.
REWE Group and Lekkerland plan to merge areas of expertise in an important market segment
REWE Group and the Lekkerland Group plan to merge and create a new strategic business area called “Convenience” within REWE Group. To complete the merger, REWE Group acquires a 100-per cent stake in Lekkerland AG & Co. KG.
PENNY in Germany with store concept
PENNY is testing a new store concept in two locations in the eastern German state of Brandenburg. The customer is led through the store along a main aisle. The aim is to enable the customer to more clearly see the variety of the product range with the help of a guided customer journey and new shelf positioning.
REWE-ZENTRALFINANZ eG acquires majority stake in REWE - Zentral-Aktiengesellschaft
With effect as at 1 May 2019, REWE-ZENTRALFINANZ eG (RZF) acquires all but eight shares with restricted transferability held by the shareholders of REWE - Zentral-Aktiengesellschaft (RZAG). Following the transfer of shares, REWE-ZENTRALFINANZ eG holds a controlling interest of 99.9995 per cent in RZAG. RZF is expected to acquire the remaining eight shares in 2020.
New toom DIY store in Stade-Schölisch with innovative features
Do-it-yourselfers in Stade-Schölisch can now select from a larger product range and enjoy the digital features of a new toom store. New services also facilitate more flexible work in homes and gardens. In addition, some of these services can be used outside regular store hours.
REWE Group in Austria launches largest multipartner programme
REWE Group has reached a major milestone in Austria with the jö Bonus Club: The more than 11 million customer cards of its trading companies BILLA, MERKUR, PENNY and BIPA were combined into a customer club together with Austrian partners. The programme called jö Bonus Club has become Austria’s largest customer club. The 14-partner programme has 3.7 million members at the end of 2019.
PENNY Czech Republic: Introduction of a new store concept
PENNY Czech Republic has presented a new store concept that is based on a classic market hall and will be used in all 30 stores in the capital of the Czech Republic. The company will invest around 1 billion Czech korunas (about 39 million euros) in the modernisation of all 385 stores. The programme is expected to be completed in 2022. A total of 70 additional remodelling projects are scheduled for 2020.
Natural food and individual dietary needs at ZooRoyal
ZooRoyal responds to the trend of sustainable animal feed and introduces two of its own products: “Minkas Naturkost” and “Charlies Naturkost”. The product range is complemented by “ZooRoyal Individual Care” – an animal feed that has been modified to address the individual dietary situations of dogs and cats.
PENNY Italy: New warehouse for Sicily
PENNY can now provide its entire product range from a single warehouse after opening an approximately 20,000-square-metre storage facility located south of Catania. This new warehouse has enabled the 32 stores on the island to significantly improve the freshness and availability of products and to cut CO₂ emissions produced by transports. A photovoltaic system helps to provide the warehouse with power.
Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof acquires REWE Group’s stake in Karstadt Feinkost GmbH & Co. KG
Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof and REWE Group restructure the partnership that they created for Karstadt Feinkost GmbH & Co. KG (KAFEIN). Under the new arrangement, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof acquires the 25.1-per cent stake that REWE Group held in KAFEIN and became the sole owner of the company. Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof and REWE Group will continue their product-supply partnership.
PENNY opens 300th store in Austria
PENNY celebrates the opening of its 300th store in Austria. The newest PENNY store provides its customers with a comprehensive product range consisting of about 2,000 items on a sales area of 672 square metres and uses green power to meet all of its energy needs. In the third quarter of 2019, PENNY undergoes a makeover and shifts its focus to customers’ personal shopping experience. The optical relaunch is being carried out under the slogan of “So einfach ist mein PENNY” (My PENNY is just that simple). As part of it, PENNY is changing store design as well as optimising bread and baked goods from Austria, fresh fruit and vegetables as well as the stores’ meat service.
ZooRoyal also represented in Eastern Europe
ZooRoyal launched an online shop in the Czech Republic under zooroyal.cz. The stationary listing in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Latvia is also new.
REWE Lieferservice customers profit from same-day delivery service
Customers of REWE deliveries can profit from same-day service in metropolitan areas. Customers in Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and Mannheim can place their orders in the online shop or via an app by 1 p.m. The orders will be delivered to the customers’ front door by the evening.
DER Touristik Group: Acquisition of the Czech tourism company Fischer
DER Touristik Group is focusing on growth of the Eastern European travel market. Its Czech subsidiary Exim Holding a.s. based in Prague announces the acquisition of the travel company Cestovní kancelář Fischer a.s. (also based in Prague). Following approval by the antitrust authorities, the acquisition is granted unconditional approval and is completed in spring 2020. The aim is to optimally expand the travel offer in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with the Fischer group and to offer customers the best possible platforms.
PENNY wins Hungarian Product of Excellence Trade Award
PENNY is named the winner of the Hungarian Product of Excellence Trade Award. The company is honoured for offering the largest number of Hungarian-produced store brands. PENNY is the first discounter in the country to win this award.
DER Touristik brings Thomas Cook guests home
After Thomas Cook declared bankruptcy in autumn 2019, the adjudicator asked REWE Group’s travel division to organise flights home for travellers in five holiday destinations. With the support of its own destination agencies, the company succeeds in returning a five-digit number of travellers home – from such places as the Dominican Republic and the Balearics.
Business travel chain DER Business Travel sold
DER Touristik Central Europe is giving up its German business chain and sells the division DER Business Travel to American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). All 600 employees are retained by the new owner. Former customers of DER Business Travel receive access to the systems and services of American Express GBT.
BILLA introduces new umbrella brand in Austria
BILLA has added a new slogan. The new umbrella brand “Voller Leben” (Full of life) is being used in messages, photographs and the design of the Austrian food retailer.
REWE and Naturland: Celebrating 10th year of partnership
The alliance was formed in 2009 with the aim of strengthening organic farming and providing organic products to a wider market. Today, more than half of all REWE organic products, including all of its meat offerings, bear the Naturland seal. Naturland is an international association of organic farmers that encompasses nearly 4,000 member farms in Germany and 65,000 members around the world.
commercetools: 130 million euros in investment capital from Insight Partners
commercetools, one of the world’s leading providers of e-commerce software, receives 130 million euros in investment capital from Insight Partners. The investment by the global venture-capital and private-equity firm will be used to support the company’s growth plans in the United States, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.
DER Touristik Group expands in the Romanian market
DER Touristik Group presses forward with its internationalisation strategy by entering the Romanian market: In October, its subsidiary Exim Holding a.s. acquires the Bucharest-based company Travel Brands. In the process, the company group acquires the country’s largest travel-agency operation with 80 branches, a tour operator and a business travel unit with a destination agency including nearly 400 employees.
IKI initiates partnership with the start-up LastMile
IKI is intensifying its e-commerce activities in Lithuania. As part of this effort, IKI announces a strategic partnership with the Lithuanian start-up LastMile and opens its first e-store. IKI starts to test the e-platform in Vilnius and Kaunas. It plans to gradually expand the online retail service throughout the country. Orders are delivered to the customer’s front door by the closest IKI branch within an hour. Digitalisation is also being advanced in the stores: In one step, electronic price tags were placed in a store in Vilnius. In another, IKI invested about 1.7 million euros in the modernisation and expansion of self-checkout services.
Weinfreunde.de in stores and online
The brand Weinfreunde.de is exciting more and more wine lovers not just online. The number of stationary REWE stores where Weinfreunde.de is offering selected wines is constantly growing as well. The total exceeded 500 stores in October.
REWE expands parcel service
REWE customers are now profiting from a larger selection of REWE store brands, bestsellers and sale items at REWE Paketservice. Many thousands of long-lasting foods and non-food products can be easily ordered online and are delivered across Germany by the parcel service.
Germany-wide REWE support campaign for Tafel food banks: 20 million euros in 10 years
REWE has been supporting Tafel food banks for 10 years with an annual campaign in which food-filled donation bags are sold. Over the past 10 years, REWE and its customers have donated products worth about 20 million euros to local Tafel food banks during the campaign drives.
Ja! Natürlich celebrates its 25th anniversary
Ja! Natürlich was launched in the organic food section of the BILLA and MERKUR supermarket chains 25 years ago. During its anniversary year, Ja! Natürlich focuses on sustainability, in such areas as the promotion of a green-packaging initiative and the strengthening of regional agriculture and product innovations.
BILLA Czech Republic honoured by the Ministry of Agriculture
In November, BILLA Czech Republic receives an award for its long-term commitment to the provision of local and regional products to its customers.
BILLA Czech Republic and Shell open 70th petrol station with the stop & shop concept
BILLA and Shell are now operating 70 petrol stations with the stop & shop concept – including ones in Prague, Brno and Pilsen. Customers can choose from up to 1,000 items while they shop on the go.
PENNY Romania: First sustainability report
PENNY International has set a standard for sustainable business practises with the release of its first sustainability report covering 2017 and 2018. PENNY Romania organises sustainability weeks for the first time as part of these efforts.
DER Touristik Group: New destination agency for tourists in Cambodia
Expansion at Go Vacation Asia: The Asia specialist among the destination agencies of DER Touristik Group has moved into Cambodia. In November, Go Vacation Cambodia begins assisting the guests of the European travel group. DER Touristik Group has thus boosted its network of destination agencies to 27 countries. It is a network that has around 1,700 employees and around 4 million guests each year.
“audit berufundfamilie” for toom
toom again receives the certificate “audit berufundfamilie” (job and family audit) for its efforts to create a work-life balance for its employees. The REWE subsidiary has received the certificate since 2016. The certificate issued by berufundfamilie Service GmbH, an initiative of the non-profit foundation Hertie-Stiftung, was now extended for three years.
REWE expands locations of pick-up service
More and more REWE stores are giving customers the opportunity to pick up the products that they ordered online. In December 2019, the number exceeded 400 locations for the first time. The expansion is continuing in 2020.
DER Touristik acquires the Sentido hotel chain
Following successful negotiations with the bankruptcy adjudicator for Thomas Cook, the Sentido hotel chain comes under the umbrella of DER Touristik in December. DER Touristik wants to provide the independent Sentido franchise partner with a secure home and expand its own hotel portfolio.
250th store for PENNY Romania
PENNY opens its 250th store in Romania. Like a total of 100 other PENNY stores in the country, the new one includes a butcher counter and provides its customers with fresh meat and sausage.
BILLA is the first food retailer in Austria with “Scan & Go”
With the help of the app “Scan & Go”, BILLA customers can use their smartphones to make purchases. Customers use the app to scan the products themselves and pay by credit card on their smartphones. BILLA is the first food retailer in Austria to offer this form of shopping.
BILLA Russia – modernisation of the store network
BILLA Russia modernises 21 stores during 2019. Following the remodelling work, the majority of the stores have counters for fresh foods, modern technical systems and a new look. The concept is rounded out by an expanded range of convenience items, fruit, vegetables and baked goods.
High investments at BILLA Czech Republic
BILLA Czech Republic moves forward in 2019 with its expansion strategy by opening new stores and remodelling existing ones. BILLA will expand further in 2020. Twelve new stores are scheduled to be opened and an additional 45 modernised. Overall, it is planning to invest nearly 60 million euros.
Self-checkout desks at BILLA in Slovakia
In 2019, BILLA Slovakia invests about 40 million euros in the modernisation of BILLA stores. As part of this work, the display of fruit, vegetables and baked goods was redesigned, and warm food is now being offered at service counters. Customers can now pay at self-service checkout counters in four stores as well. Additional self-service checkout counters are scheduled to be introduced in 2020.
BILLA expanded its market-leading position in Bulgaria last year and now operates 130 stores in 38 cities in the country. BILLA opens eight new stores in Bulgaria in 2019 – five in Sofia, two in Varna and one in Stara Zagora.