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Czech Republic: Penny market leader within 25 years

Discount Retail Chain Penny Czech Republic (owned by the German REWE Group) has expanded to market leadership, opening 400 stores in the Czech Republic within the past 25 years.

Why do the Czechs like to go shopping at Penny?

Jens Krieger, Managing Director at Penny Czech Republic: The answer is partly in the question asked. With more than 400 stores we have the widest network on the Czech market. That is significantly more than any of our competitors. We are practically everywhere. Our customers: inside have short distances to us to buy cheap and quickly. As part of the expansion activities, we not only focus on big cities, especially on small cities with 3,000 to 5,000 inhabitants.

After 25 years we are proud to be able to say that we are the biggest discounter in the Czech Republic and make it known. This means that with us the customer: the goods with good quality can be found at low prices and the format of the branches is so that you can quickly buy everything you need every day. In the currently economically demanding time, this strategy proves to be correct because the customer: Inside, more than ever pay attention to the price.

In retrospect: How has shopping in the Czech Republic over the years?

Jens Krieger: Shopping at Penny has changed in many aspects. In the 90s, the classic discounter dominated in the Czech Republic. It was enough to exhibit on pallets, without any shopping experience. However, the market has changed, the behavior of the customer: inside and also its preferences. We have adjusted our offer to these changes. Especially in the past six years, we have modernized the stores and switched to the market hall concept. This is expressed in a higher-quality shopping evenings, a new customer: internal tour and lighter markets.

We focus on more fresh food and show a broader range of fresh fruit, vegetables and pastries in our branches. In addition, we offer organic articles, lactose and gluten-free products and vegetable meat alternatives. We also complement our range with so-called themed weeks, in which we offer product compound to Italy, America and Asia as well as XXL packaging formats or at Easter and Christmas an exclusive "Selection" selection.

Nevertheless, we will not change with the criteria of efficiency, productivity and economy. We are a discounter and that means that we always want to offer our customers a better price-quality ratio compared to the competition. This is our DNA and we stay.

How does a purchase in the Czech Republic differ from other European countries?

Jens Krieger: Together with Slovakia, the Czech Republic has the highest proportion of promotion actions in Europe, even in the world. On average, it is about 55 percent, with the proportion of promotion action moving by around 20 percent in neighboring countries.

There were many competitors in the Czech Republic in the 1990s. During the economic transformation, practically all retailers came here and the phenomenon of relatively high sales prices and very low campaign prices were created. To date, the Czech is announced: in the inside and act accordingly every day.

We are a discounter and that means that we always want to offer our customers a better price-quality ratio compared to the competition. This is our DNA and we stay.

Just in time for the 25th anniversary, Penny Czech Republic will complete the modernization of the store network and open 15 new markets.

What is a Penny market in the Czech Republic today?

Jens Krieger: Penny is number 1 on the market with a view of the number of stores and we want to continue to consolidate this position. That is why we open an average of 10 to 15 new stores every year. We want to keep this pace in the next few years. So that we can expand the store network with this number of stroke, we are planning to build two new logistics centers by 2028.

We not only focus on expansion, modernization or installation of economical technologies. We also optimize our range step by step. We increase the proportion of our own brands. Customers: In the inside, self -made brands are in terms of quality and significantly cheaper than branded products. Our goal is to increase the proportion of own brands in the total range to 50 percent by 2025.

Sustainability plays an important role in Penny, with intelligent refrigeration technology, long-resistant materials and modern LED lighting. In addition, in the Czech Republic in a market, they also showed how empty the shelves are when there are no more bees.

What is the importance of sustainability in the Czech Republic in general and for Penny in particular?

Jens Krieger: Sustainability and social responsibility play an increasingly important role in our decisions. That is why they have become an inseparable part of our trade strategy. Wherever we work, we want to be a good neighbor. This means that we not only want the customer to buy: inside us and feel comfortable with us, we also want us to make a contribution to people and nature in the area, i.e. in the places where we are active. That is why we install environmentally friendly technologies in our stores. We regularly participate in nationwide cleaning activities, we plant trees, support the sporting activities of the children in the regions and also take care of seniors.

In all logistics centers we have our own beehives and a few weeks ago we drew attention to the importance of bees for food production at a large event. I am pleased that this event with the support of the Czech Minister of Agriculture, Zdeněk Nekula, who is a beekeeper himself, was very successful and has received great attention and a positive evaluation in the Czech media and the general public.

We not only focus on expansion, modernization or installation of economical technologies. We also optimize our range step by step.

They went from Plus Czech Republic to Penny Hungary and back to the Czech Republic in the course of their career.

What surprised you the most after her return?

Jens Krieger: I particularly like Prague and the Czech Republic in general, so the return was very pleasant for me. With great commitment to all college: It was easy to continue the good work that started here. In all stores we carried out rebranding to the new, friendly "Penny-Punkt logo". At the same time, this year we are concluding the modernization of the entire store network on the market hall concept and are pleased that Penny Czech Republic in the customer: internal perception is constantly increasing and developing positively. With a wide range of Czech foods, we are near our customers: inside a reliable and good neighbor.

Penny Czech Republic Data

Penny operates over 400 stores and five logistics centers in the Czech Republic. More than 6,000 employees: inside are employed there. In 2020, sales of 1.75 billion euros were achieved. One of the most important milestones in 2008 was the takeover of the plus retail chain with its 146 stores. In 2017, Penny began modernizing his network, which is to be completed this year.

The company also opens up new stores every year. In 2020 and 2021 there were a total of 16 new stores, another 15 are planned for this year. The number of Penny markets exceeded the 400 mark at the beginning of this year.


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