Left: Rebecca Veiga | Head of the Media Department at Coop. Credit: Coop. Right: Paul Klotz | Board Director of Spar. Credit: Spar
Cover Story | Food & Beverage / Leisure | Retail

Food retailers in their own words

Industry leaders told us about the sales impact Corona had on their business in 2020. They also explain what fundamental changes in location, sales, and marketing strategy they are planning for 2021/2022 in response to the widespread economic impact of the pandemic.

Paul Klotz | Board Director of Spar

Credit: Spar

A bit of normality thanks to unbroken marketing policy

“All Spar organizations under the Aspiag umbrella are an essential part of the critical infrastructure in their respective countries. With our Spar, Despar, Europspar, and Interspar stores, we have consistently maintained local supply to the population. This has been reflected positively in sales. In the countries of Northeast Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, and Croatia, Spar was able to generate total sales of 6.20 billion euros, thus achieving a strong sales growth of +6.5 % (adjusted for exchange rate effects). In all four countries, Spar is now among the top 3 in the respective food retailing sector: in Northeast Italy, Spar is the market leader with gross sales of 2.43 billion euros, and in a strong second place in Hungary with 2.10 billion euros as well as in Slovenia with sales of 924 million euros. In Croatia, Spar has already moved into third place with sales of 733 million euros.

Our successful growth in the Corona period makes it clear that our strategy works. With our unbroken campaign and marketing policy, we are providing a bit of normality in socially difficult times and appeal equally to all people in the Spar countries.”


Rebecca Veiga | Head of the Media Department at Coop

Credit: Coop

Financial foundation remains robust 

“Coop achieved a stable profit of 539 million Swiss francs in 2020 on sales of 30.2 billion Swiss francs. Total retail sales increased by 1.1 billion to 19.1 billion Swiss francs. The wholesale/production division achieved sales of 12.6 billion Swiss francs.

Despite the challenging environment, Coop remains on very robust financial footing and is ideally placed to continue its positive development. This is also due to the two mainstays of our business, retail and wholesale/production. Coop will continue to adhere to this proven strategy in the future.”


A spokesperson for Metro AG

No fundamental realignment planned

“Basically, Metro looks back on a robust fiscal year 2019/20 overall, with the exception of Q3, which was particularly burdened by Covid-19. From the 2nd half of Q3 onwards, business performance steadily improved again with the continuous easing of government restrictions and the roll-out of numerous operational initiatives. In Q4 2019/20, a further significant trend improvement was achieved in all regions, and business development was close to the level of the previous year. Metro even gained significant market share in its core business in its fiscal year 2019/20, including in Germany, France and Italy, and showed a clearly positive development in Russia and Eastern Europe. For example, Metro came through the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic very well, compared with the competition.

The executive board is working on the basis of an adopted strategy which is supported by the supervisory board. Metro has been fully focused on wholesale for foodservice customers and independent retailers in recent years, offering food and non-food products, services, support, and digital applications as part of its 360-wholesale strategy, as well as an omnichannel approach with stores, delivery, and an online marketplace. Overall, the experience from the pandemic so far confirms our fundamental strategy. We are convinced that, thanks to our strategy, we will emerge stronger from the pandemic in the long term and will benefit disproportionately from the recovery in foodservice and tourism. Accordingly, we are currently not planning any fundamental realignment of our strategy. Rather, we are continuing to pursue our strategic goals with conviction, while responding quickly to pandemic-related changes in our operating business.”

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