"Retail giant Kaufland wants to take over Real"

For many months now, Metro AG has been looking for a buyer for hypermarket chain Real. Now a potential buyer may have been found: Retail giant Kaufland wants to take over Real - or at least some of its 287 stores in Germany.

In 2018, the Metro AG, which manages all Real markets, announced it would focus primarily on the wholesale business and to want to put its own Metro-branches in the foreground. It is there that Metro boss Olaf Koch sees clear development potential, as he explained in the conversation with Wirtschaftswoche. Supermarket chain Real has been on sale since the announcement of this strategy. And there was internal unrest at Real as well. Employees were worried about their jobs and did not know what to do with their fellow employees. The paper Lebensmittel Zeitung now wants to have confirmation from company sources that Kaufland is interested in 100 Real stores. At the request of CHIP Online, Kaufland did not want to comment, or confirm or deny. In a situation like this, this usually is the closest to a confirmation one can get.

In the past, German-language business magazines have consistently named Amazon as a potential buyer. Compared to CHIP Online, several high-ranking managers had denied all speculation in personal conversations. Real seems to be a tough chunk even for Amazon.

Dropping sales, less branches
An evaluation of the EHI Retail Institute (a scientific institute of commerce), which is available via CHIP Online, shows that in the first quarter of 2013 Real had net sales of 2.6 billion euros. In the fourth quarter of 2017, net sales plummeted to 1.7 billion euros. The figures are based on press releases, sales announcements and quarterly reports.

It is similarly dramatic in terms of branch penetration. Real's total sales area in 2000 was 2.6 million square meters. In 2011, the number reached a peak of 3.1 million square meters. Real opened many new new branches within eleven years. In 2012, that changed abruptly. Since then, the total sales area has decreased. In 2018, it was 1.9 million square meters.

Source: Chip.de

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