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Retailers continue to see increasing customer demand

EDEKA organisation expands market share

The EDEKA group continued its earnings-oriented growth course in 2018 and expanded its leading market position. Sales rose by 3.2 percent to a total of 53.6 billion euros. Once again, the growth drivers were the 3,700 self-employed EDEKA merchants nationwide: with a turnover of 27.6 billion euros, SMEs were 4.9 percent above the last year's revenues. They also impressed with an increase in sales of 3.6 percent with a stable return on sales. "The EDEKA model of the entrepreneurial company is more sustainable than ever," says Markus Mosa, CEO of EDEKA AG.

"In a growing overall market, we were able to expand our market share. The independent EDEKA merchants have once again succeeded in inspiring their loyal customers and winning over new customers. "In addition to the foothold of the independent retail trade, Netto Marken-Discount 2018 also successfully fought in the intense competitive environment.

In the financial year 2018, the EDEKA network invested around 1.6 billion euros in its trading infrastructure and the competitiveness of its markets. German consumers are also benefiting from the attractive price-performance ratio. For the current year, an increase in investments to around 2 billion euros is planned. In 2018, 77 start-up companies set up their own business with their own EDEKA market - a clear signal for the future viability of the cooperative principle. With a total of 376,000 employees - including 18,000 trainees - the EDEKA network remains one of the leading employers and trainers in Germany. In 2018 alone, EDEKA and Netto Marken-Discount have created 6,700 new jobs.

Nationwide, the organisation expanded its total retail space in 2018 to around 11.3 million square meters and opened 263 new stores across all formats. Numerous other locations have been expanded and modernized. This also applies to the 338 stores taken over by Kaiser's Tengelmann in 2017. They were successfully integrated into the EDEKA and net structures and impressed over the course of the year with mostly double-digit growth rates. At the same time, the volume of employment increased as planned, so that EDEKA can meet the requirements of the ministerial permit in advance.

Clear differentiation on the shelf
The aim of the EDEKA network is to continuously open up new options for growth and differentiation for independent traders along the entire value chain: from the development of up-to-date sales formats to the systematic promotion of innovations in the product range. An important lever for this is the targeted cooperation with regionally strong medium-sized companies - even beyond the classic full-range business. Example Budni: In 2018, EDEKA and the traditional Hamburg-based company Budnikowsky closely interlinked their goods business, thus creating the basis for further expansion on the site. In addition to the stationary ones, the digital distribution channels are being consistently further developed: A common technological platform enables the merchants to operate their individual online shops competitively.

In addition to classic branded products, the EDEKA own brands contribute to the differentiation in the assortment. Here, EDEKA set new trends in many product groups in 2018 - for example in the drugstore sector or with the expansion of attractively priced GUT & GÜNSTIG articles in the fruit and vegetable departments. To promote a conscious diet, EDEKA has been reducing its sugar, fat and salt content for many years throughout its own brand program. The objective is to achieve salt and / or sugar reduction of up to 25 percent by 2021 in particularly relevant product ranges such as snacks, sweets or soft drinks.

Focus on innovations
In order to facilitate innovation on the supermarket shelves, the EDEKA network systematically expands cooperation with start-ups. Since November 2018, the EDEKAFoodTech Campus in Berlin has offered entrepreneurs the opportunity to further develop their product ideas in exchange with trade experts. Merchants can now access more than 950 new products via the online marketplace EDEKAFoodStarter. Another component for more flexibility and transparency in the goods business lies in the continuous strengthening of the Verbund's own production facilities - above all in the bread and baked goods, meat and sausage, wine, mineral water and fruit juice segments.

For EDEKA as a company traditionally rooted in Germany, cooperation with the partners of the European alliance AgeCore is becoming increasingly important. The cooperation with trading companies from five other nations not only makes it possible for Verbund to meet the multinational corporations of the food industry on an equal footing. At the same time, the alliance opens up manifold potentials for medium-sized manufacturers, for example to open up new sales markets beyond the borders and to guarantee consumers an attractive price-performance experience. In Germany too, the intensification of supraregional cooperation contributed to sharpening the efficiency and performance profile of Verbund. Thus, EDEKA bundled already in the spring of 2018 the supply of large consumers and catering in the national operating company EDEKAFoodservice.

Partnership with WWF
For ten years now, EDEKA and the environmental organization WWF have been working to make products and supply chain environments more compatible. The unique partnership for sustainability is a successful model in the food retail sector. It not only significantly reduced the ecological footprint of the EDEKA network, but also transformed the entire food market - this was confirmed by the Federal Environment Agency in a study in March 2018, which highlighted the cooperation as a pioneer in the industry. Current focal points include, for example, the holistic reduction of packaging and the promotion of returnable systems, as well as the improvement of growing conditions for fruit and vegetables, the protection of freshwater resources and the preservation of biodiversity.

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