METRO GROUP, based in Düsseldorf, is a leading international retail company. Worldwide, around 220,000 employees dedicate themselves to fulfilling the expectations of our customers. Our operating business focuses on wholesale and retail, including online retail. In these areas, our three independent sales lines are leaders:
- METRO Cash & Carry is a leading international player in self-service wholesale trade.
- Media-Saturn is number one among consumer electronics stores in Europe.
- Real is one of the leading hypermarket companies in Germany.
With their products and services, our sales lines serve professional and private customers in 29 countries in Europe and Asia. To tap new target groups and retain customers for the long term, METRO Cash & Carry, Media-Saturn and Real are transforming from product-focused sales businesses into customer- and service-oriented system partners. To this end, they are continuing to dovetail new sales channels such as delivery and online retail as well as supplementary services with their store-based business. Through targeted investments in new, fast-growing companies and own business innovations, the sales lines are bracing for future market challenges.
Focus on customer value
The objective of METRO GROUP’s strategy is generating long-range, sustainable growth. First and foremost, our aim is to improve like-for-like sales and earnings as well as tap new business models and sales channels. We are also boosting our performance strength and appeal by optimising our cost position and cash flow, improving our margins and reducing our net debt. The prerequisite for METRO GROUP’s long-range, sustainable growth is our persistent focus on creating value for our customers. Five focal points guide us in this work: transform, grow, improve, expand and innovate. They provide the strategic framework for our business activities and lend a shared direction to our group across all sales lines and companies.
Our customers’ needs and expectations form the starting point for all our strategic considerations. Which product ranges do they need? How do they wish to inform themselves, communicate with us and obtain their goods? Can we offer new services to pique the interest of additional consumers or commercial customers in our business model? Which sales channels do we have to develop or expand to meet our customers’ increasing demands? Using these questions as our starting point, we have already made significant strides in the areas of multichannel marketing, delivery, franchising and own brands. In these and other areas, we are rigorously forging ahead with the strategic repositioning of our sales lines.
Our second focal point is growth in all business segments. We intend to achieve this first and foremost by improving like-for-like sales. An absolute focus on the customer is crucial to this effort. We also aim to significantly improve customer satisfaction. To raise our appeal to consumers and professional customers, we are making targeted investments in new assortments, formats and services. In addition, we are selectively adjusting our sales lines’ price levels to further bolster their competitive positions. Finally, we are realigning our incentive systems for employees to encourage additional productivity enhancements.
A company’s competitiveness depends as much on its process performance as on an attractive product and service offering. Our objective is to create streamlined, effective organisational structures. For this reason, we must continually examine our processes, systematically review our business portfolio and improve our cost structure. In this way, we can improve our cash flow and create headroom for additional investments.
Sales growth, efficient processes and optimised cash flow with stable or improved earnings represent the foundation for our future expansion. After all, our mission is to invest in a business model that is customer-focused, competitive and sustainable. Many countries in which we are active offer excellent opportunities for enhancing our footprint. We are currently focusing our expansion and are seizing new opportunities by opening new stores as well as by enhancing our offering.
Creating value for customers means responding to changing needs early on or even shaping this change by recognising technological, societal and consumer trends, by identifying their potential relevance to our own business and by devising specific solutions such as new business models, processes or sales concepts. This work begins by firmly anchoring business innovation within our company structure as well as defining innovation focal points that are relevant to our customers and hold growth potential. The key is cultivating a structured network with internal and external experts. This approach forms the foundation of our innovation management.
For more information about innovation management at METRO GROUP, see the chapter “principles of the group – innovation management”.
Framework for sustainable growth
Our business objectives are aligned with ecological and social requirements. For this reason, we have firmly anchored the principle of sustainability within our corporate strategy. Our sustainability vision serves as a group-wide foundation for the long-term transformation of METRO GROUP: “METRO GROUP. We offer quality of life. For our customers, for our employees, for all who work for us, for the environment and for society.”
For more information about sustainability management at METRO GROUP, see the chapter “principles of the group – sustainability management”.