Just like all other competitors in European retail, REWE Group and E.Leclerc are facing major changes in the industry: new forms of trade, e-commerce, new customer requirements and the ongoing increase in complexity of sourcing present far-reaching challenges. These changes can be observed in an environment in which numerous market players have entered into strategic partnerships and alliances on a national and international level; not least, they require considerable investments.
REWE Group and E.Leclerc are already successfully involved in areas such as sustainable development, energy saving, efficient logistics, the digital economy and optimised customer relationship management. "The Management Boards of the two groups have exchanged their views on these subjects and discussed the options to develop common strategic directions and to leverage synergies, notably in the area of procurement of both companies," explained Leclerc and Caparros. "In view of the major alliances that have been newly established in European retail, we have therefore come to the decision that we will jointly take advantage of every possibility to improve the growth opportunities of our two groups."
To this end, E.Leclerc and REWE Group have agreed on close cooperation that is focused on joint projects. The objective of this alliance between the two cooperative retail groups is to identify synergies in the context of the business activities of the two companies and to leverage these to mutual benefit. The independence and autonomy of the two partners will remain unaffected by this cooperation.
In the context of the alliance, REWE Group and E.Leclerc will, among others, establish a joint purchasing company. Moreover, the companies have agreed on cooperation in specific projects where joint teams of E.Leclerc and REWE Group will work on strategic topics such as the further development of the organic products segment, cooperation in the travel and tourism segment, in import as well as in the areas of electric mobility and energy.
In connection with the comprehensive alliance with E.Leclerc, REWE Group is going to leave the Belgian CORE cooperative; the withdrawal from CORE will have been completed by 31 December 2015 at the latest.
The French trade company E.Leclerc operates 550 stores in France and 80 stores in five other European countries with a total turnover of 45 billion euros.
The cooperative REWE Group is one of the leading trade and tourism groups in Germany and Europe. In 2014, the company generated a total external turnover exceeding 51 billion euros. REWE Group, founded in 1927, operates 15,000 stores with 330,000 employees in 12 European countries. In 2014, around 228,000 employees generated sales totalling 37 billion euros in about 10,000 stores in Germany.
The sales lines include supermarkets and consumer stores under the REWE, REWE CENTER, REWE CITY and BILLA brands, the PENNY discounter brand, toom Baumarkt DIY stores and B1 discount DIY stores. Added to this are the organic supermarkets (TEMMA), innovative convenience stores (REWE to Go), the restaurant concept "Oh Angie!" and e-commerce activities (REWE online with pick-up and delivery service). Under the umbrella of the DER Touristik brand, travel and tourism includes the tour operators ITS, Jan Reisen and Tjaereborg, as well as Dertour, Meier’s Weltreisen and ADAC Reisen, and the business travel division FCm Travel Solutions with over 2,100 travel agencies (including DER Reisebüro, DERPART), and the hotel chains lti hotels, Club Calimera and PrimaSol Hotels, and the direct tour operator clevertours.com.