A salad bar, space for convenience and a large organic shelf. The German supermarket chain Rewe is a forerunner in the German retail world. The company is part of the Rewe Group and in this group it is obvious that they are looking for changes in the retail landscape with concepts such as Rewe To Go, the organic supermarket Temma and online sales. The supermarket was visited during the Retail Food & Trend tour.

View the photo report here

The Rewe Group could not be left out of a study trip around German retail. During the Retail Food & Trend Tour, organised by Jochem Wolthuis of the DuitslandDesk of the GroentenFruitHuis, not only the Rewe Group's main office was visited, three stores were also on the programme: two Rewe and one organic supermarket Temma.

The Rewe Group is the 9th largest company in Germany. The group includes chains such as Rewe, Rewe City and Rewe Center, Nahkauf, Temma, Rewe To Go and discounter Penny. The latter is struggling, like all discounters in Germany. A fierce price battle is taking place in this segment. The Rewe Group as a whole is making a profit: in 2013 the group made a 466 million Euro profit with a 500 billion Euro turnover. The Rewe Group is part of the buying alliance CORE, which consists of Colruyt Group, Conad and COOP Suisse. Until 2013 E.Leclerc was also part of this alliance.

The Rewe Group has introduced various new concepts over the last few years. The German organic retail chain Temma was founded in 2009 and is experiencing considerable growth. At the moment there are seven Temma's in Germany. More locations are to be added on Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin this autumn. "Sustainability, regionality and organic production are becoming increasingly important. Temma was on our agenda as an experiment of sorts and was a reasonably unexpected success," says Stephen Weist, Head of Category Management Fresh of REWE. However, it depends on the place: the Temma in Hamburg is doing exceptionally well, but it is harder to get going in other places. Temma has a fully organic assortment, from fresh products to personal hygiene.

Rewe To Go
Rewe also founded the REWE To Go in 2011. With a focus on convenience and products for on the go, it is one of the forerunners in a changing retail market. "It's more expensive than Rewe, but is cheaper than the alternatives," says Stephan Weist. "We offer an alternative to fast food and café's."

It has also been possible since 2011 to order shopping at Rewe and pick it up after three hours, for a two Euro charge. It is also possible to order online in various cities. "The biggest surprise in ordering is the percentage of fruit and vegetables. We didn't expect to supply 20% fruit and vegetables. It's the second product after meat," says Stephan Weist.

During the visit, two Rewe's and one Temma were visited. What is striking is that one of the busiest REWE's in the region is right next to the Temma. The retailers do not seem afraid of competition from their own group. The shop is reminiscent of classic market halls with offer islands and stalls. A lot of natural materials were used. Besides a supermarket, there is als a deli and a café in the Temma.

Organic convenience
Various things stand out at the fruit and vegetable departments of the Rewe's. A large shelf has been allocated to organic produce and offers right at the entrance. The share of convenience is substantially higher than in other, German supermarkets. The main example of this is the Salad Bar, which is at the fruit and vegetable department. The products for this are delivered freshly cut. The entire fruit and vegetable department looks fresh - but there is a cooling installation on a number of product, which doesn't help products such as peppers. The luxury Edle Ernte label includes products such as sweet pointed peppers, Kumato tomatoes and Hass avocados.

Differences can also be seen between the two Rewe's. At the first supermarket new ways of selling are being tested. By placing basil and mozzarella next to the tomatoes, for instance, the sales of mozzarella have increased considerably. "But not that of tomato," says Stephan Weist. In the second Rewe, which is doing exceptionally well, the lay out of the fruit and vegetables is even more spacious and extensive. There is a huge choice of products: chiquita bananas or Beste Wahl bananas, various types of grapes and mini, normal and gold kiwis.

View the photo report here