Germany: Netto grows further
Discount Retail Chain Netto (owned by the Danish trading group Salling Group) continues to grow further in 2020. Managing director Ingo Panknin (ex Aldi manager) expects annual sales of more than US$ 1.3 Bn (€ 1.1 Bn). In addition, 50 new stores are being opened or in the pipeline.
In the past few years, the company's annual turnover, with 342 stores in eight federal states and two large warehouses in Stavenhagen and Wustermark near Berlin, was just over a billion euros.
The reasons for the growth are increased sales in the wake of the corona pandemic and the modernization of stores. Short-time work for the 6,000 employees was not necessary. "On the contrary, we have also employed staff," said Panknin. For their work under the more difficult pandemic conditions, the management paid all employees a "Corona bonus" of between 50 and 150 euros.
In its 30th year of Netto existence, the focus is on converting the stores to the new Netto 3.0 concept, in which customers are presented with Scandinavian aesthetics and a new type of shopping experience. "We want to grow again and are looking for suitable space for around 50 new shops," emphasized Panknin. So far, the discounter is represented 112 stores in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, 143 stores in Berlin and Brandenburg as well as in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.
“Compared to others, Netto is a rather small discounter,” says the managing director of the North East Trade Association, Kay-Uwe Teetz. But Netto were one of the first chains to pay particular attention to regionalism and implemented it well. That is why Teetz sees “good opportunities” for the black and yellow discounter.
In 1990 Netto was a joint establishment of the former Spar group with Danish partners. When the German grocery market leader Edeka Group took over Spar, it had to sell the yellow-black Netto. The Danes also expanded into north-east Germany, including Poland, where there are almost 390 stores. Recently they took over around 300 Tesco stores.