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90 years of REWE – a success story

More than 3,000 German supermarkets carry the name REWE. Customers associate this name with attractive locations, large assortments, fresh and high-quality products, friendly and competent staff and a sustainable attitude. And maybe a bit less obvious, REWE stands for tradition.

Founded 90 years ago, 17 grocery wholesale cooperatives successfully organized themselves in order to cope with rising competition and price pressure. This is the birth of REWE and the start of the development of a unique company. With a turnover of around 54 billion Euros, REWE Group is now one of the leading concerns in trade and tourism in Europe.

In 1927, the REWE began in Cologne. And the goals of the cooperative, as laid down in the founding statutes, still apply today: establish, secure and promote the existence of independent supermarkets, by organizing the purchase of products at competitive prices.

Historical events, the Second World War, clearly influenced REWE, however their post-war development is characterized by expansion. Especially, acquisitions and mergers ensured great momentum in a number of markets. As a result a large number of brands and formats were available under the umbrella of the cooperation. In 1988, REWE enters the tourism industry, followed by the expansion into European countries. Less than 10 years later REWE’s online presences started with the website www.rewe.de.

Since 2000, two new strategies have guaranteed further economic success. Firstly, the focus on the REWE brand and secondly the development of new market formats. In 2006, all 3,000 supermarkets were overhauled overnight to create a uniform sales brand: REWE. This ends the brand diversity, as the combination of location, target audience, range and size determine the new the new format: REWE City, TEMMA, REWE Center and REWE To Go.  

Additionally, in the online supermarket trade REWE also shows its innovative strength and pioneering spirit. Customers want to decide, almost on a day-to-day basis, whether they want to shop online for groceries or visit the supermarket around the corner. REWE responded quickly to this trend and offers a complete supermarket range in their REWE online shop. Customers are free to choose between pick-up points or delivery service and 40% of the Germans can shop online at REWE.de or use the REWE-App. To deal with the Omni-channel challenges REWE created REWE Digital, a separate unit for all strategic online activities.

REWE also pledged commitment to sustainability and has received several awards and acknowledgements for their dedication. Furthermore, the 100 REWE Green Building supermarkets, which are energy efficient, use natural materials, are a visible commitment to sustainability. The sustainable concept of REWE Green Building saves around 40% of energy compared to a standard building. With the largely CO2-neutral building, REWE invests in its climate goals for 2022 - decreasing their greenhouse gas emissions with 50% compared to 2006.

REWE Group is taking the ninetieth anniversary as an opportunity to treat its customers on special offers and competitions with prizes. In addition, REWE tells various aspects of its history on different media. Particularly interesting are the videos on youtube about the Dederichs family, a family of REWE shopkeepers in Kaarst near Düsseldorf. The clips show how five generations of shopkeepers have been serving the customer and represent the cooperative roots of REWE.

Source: Rewe-Group

Publication date: 9/27/2017


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