Leading German grocer Edeka’s sales reached E39.1bn (£34.2bn) in 2010, up 3.9% compared with 2009.

In total, sales at the full-range stores run by independent shopkeepers grew 8.4%, with like-for-like sales up 4.6%. Sales at Edeka’s discount chain Netto increased by 4.3% to E10.4bn (£9bn), with like-for-like sales growth of 2.7%.

Despite this strong performance, Edeka looks set to push on with expansion and growth in 2011. In particular, the Netto discount network will have another 1,000 new stores added to the existing 4,000-strong chain.

In July 2010, the retailer completed the 18 month-long transformation and renaming of the 2,300 former Plus stores it acquired from Tengelmann.

Despite the significant expansion planned for Netto, Edeka is keen to reinforce the idea that its core superstore, supermarket and neighbourhood network will also grow. Independent shopkeepers are responsible for 4,500 of the 7,700 stores. “Every year, our independent retailers prove themselves to be our driving force,” group chief executive Markus Mosa explained.

According to the chief executive, only a limited number of shoppers have been jumping ship to the Netto banner.

Indeed, Edeka believes that its high number of independent store operators means that it has a number of important advantages – such as giving them the freedom to adapt to regional conditions and customers. The impressive 8.4% sales growth from this channel in 2010 backs up this argument.

Actually, this is one of the reasons Germany’s top retailer is not just looking to expand in the discount channel, but across all of its formats. Edeka has employed more than 100 retail expansion specialists and is considering furthering its growth strategy by opening 200 Edeka stores annually. “Concerning our full-range stores we want to cover the blank areas,” Mosa announced.

According to him, Edeka intends to attract another 100 independent shopkeepers and place a particular focus on opening stores in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the greater Munich area and in the Rhine-Main region around Frankfurt. In these areas the co-operative retailer lags behind competitors such as Rewe or Tengelmann.

  • Robert Gregory, research director, Planet Retail. For more information contact us on: Tel: +44 (0)20 7728 5600, Email: info@planetretail.net