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89 years of REWE Group - Our Corporate History

Did you know where the name REWE comes from? The name derives from "Revisionsverband der Westkauf-Genossenschaften" (auditing association of western purchasing cooperatives) that goes back to the mid-20s of the 20th century: in 1927, REWE-Zentrale commenced its operation in Cologne and was registered in the in the Register of Cooperative Societies. Since then, a lot has happened in REWE Group history. Find out more about the most important milestones of the corporate history from foundation to this day, illustrated through original photos from our archives.

History 1946 to 1970

The Roots

Small but powerful: At the end of 1926, 17 purchasing cooperatives decided on the foundation. REWE-Zentrale commences its operation in Cologne. It was to take another few years until the business segment could be expanded to wholesale and foreign trade. In 1959, this target was finally reached.

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History 1971 to 1990

Marked by Expansion

In 1972, a new REWE partnership model was created to promote the independent retail. Two years later, all signs significantly point to expansion: REWE-Zentrale takes a 50 per cent stake in the Leibbrand Group. In 1989, the company founded in 1961 was transferred to REWE ownership together with HL and Minimal supermarkets, PENNY discount stores, toom self-service stores and Idea drug stores Leibbrand.

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History 1991 to 2000

Actively Involved in Travel and Tourism and Abroad

The investment in Budgens, UK, in 1993 is the first step into foreign markets. And in 1995, REWE also benefits from the holiday cake: REWE continues to expand its Travel and Tourism business by acquiring the ITS tour operator from Kaufhof and takes another significant stance in 2000: with the acquisition of the DER Group which includes the tour operators DERTOUR and ADAC Reisen as well as 360 DER travel agencies, REWE Travel and Tourism becomes another essential pillar of the Trade Group.

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History 2001 to 2010

Big Bang and Record Turnover

Expansion continues: the airline LTU and the LTU tour operators Jahn Reisen, Tjaereborg and Meier's Weltreisen complement the Travel and Tourism family. With the Swiss Bon appétit Group, the involvement in the Alpine region is expanded. In 2004, REWE Group exceeds the 40 billion euro mark for the first time. In 2006, the new REWE Group umbrella brand and its logo were introduced as a symbol of the corporate headquarters' repositioning. The “Big Bang” came in the same year: around 3,000 supermarkets switched to the unified “REWE” sales brand: Minimal, HL, Stüssgen and Otto Mess were now transferred to the "new REWE". Also, Toom Baumarkt DIY stores advance to the top group of the industry. After the integration of 133 Marktkauf DIY stores, the National Specialist Store of REWE Group becomes the new number three on the German market in 2007.

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History 2011 to 2014

Food to go and Digital Offensive

As of 2011, REWE tests a new shop concept for heavily frequented locations, the "REWE to go“ concept. The innovative and modern convenience concept with many fresh and healthy ready-to-eat products offers a real alternative to fast food chains, take-out restaurants and bakeries. REWE Regional is REWE's new store brand for fruit and vegetables - accommodating the customers’ demand for regional products. In 2012, REWE Far East Ltd. opens its first office in Hong Kong and bundles procurement of all food and non-food articles which are purchased directly in Asia for REWE Group. With the new subsidiary REWE Digital, REWE Group combines its online shops and digital activities in one entity. Moreover, the statement of the top management was clear: Alain Caparros remains CEO of REWE Group until the end of 2018.

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